Pfizer intends to split off its remaining interest in Zoetis through an exchange offer. Zoetis, formerly Pfizer's animal health business, completed its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2013. Pfizer shareholders can exchange all, some or none of their shares of Pfizer common stock for shares of Zoetis common stock owned by Pfizer.
The exchange offer is anticipated to be tax-free for participating Pfizer shareholders in the U.S., except with respect to cash received in lieu of a fractional share. The completion of the full separation of Zoetis is expected to be accretive to Pfizer's earnings per share beginning in 2014.
"Given the strong demand in the IPO and a favorable market environment, we concluded that now is the appropriate time to distribute our remaining stake in Zoetis," said Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer. "We expect that this exchange offer will continue to deliver value to Pfizer shareholders by reducing the number of our outstanding shares in a tax-efficient manner. At the same time, we believe that this transaction better positions Pfizer to focus on our core business as an innovative biopharmaceutical company."