Multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer considering sale of consumer healthcare business

The consumer healthcare business generated $3.4bn of revenues previous year, with its Centrum vitamin and Advil ibuprofen brands two of ten biggest selling globally.

Pfizer's consumer-health business sells well-known brands like Advil pain medicine, Centrum vitamins and ChapStick lip balm and generated about $3.4 billion in revenue previous year.

That accounted for about 6% of the firm's total revenue. "A range of options will be considered, including a full or partial separation of the Consumer Healthcare business from Pfizer through a spin-off, sale or other transaction, and Pfizer may ultimately determine to retain the business", the company said.

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Chairman and CEO Ian Read said Tuesday (10 October) that consumer health products are distinct enough from the company's main biopharmaceutical business that its value might be "more fully realized" outside the company. A final decision is expected in 2018.

He said all divisions of the company were subject to periodic review and a decision could depend on whether the USA moved forward with tax reform. Pfizer may also leave the business as is, with no sale.

US President Donald Trump is pushing for changes to the US tax code, including lowering the corporate rate from 35% to 20% and changing how overseas profits are taxed. Johnson & Johnson, the No. 2 company in the consumer-health market, had bought Pfizer's legacy consumer-health business in 2006 for $16.6 billion.

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