Covidien, a global provider of healthcare products, plans to spin off its pharmaceuticals business into a standalone public company.
Covidien’s pharmaceuticals business is one of the world’s largest producers of bulk acetaminophen, a supplier of opioid pain medications and is among the top 10 generic pharmaceuticals manufacturers in the U.S., based on prescriptions. Since 2008, this business has received FDA approval for eight new products, including two branded pain products launched in 2010.
“We’ve evaluated whether to separate these businesses for several years, due to the major differences between the medical products and pharmaceutical industries. We believe that now is the right time to do so because we have significantly improved the operations, performance and pipeline of our pharmaceuticals business,” said José E. Almeida, president and chief executive officer. “While both businesses hold industry-leading positions, they have distinctly different business models, sales channels, customers, capital requirements and talent bases. In addition, their respective innovation pipelines differ substantially in length, regulatory approval requirements, possible risks and potential returns."
“This transaction, if completed, would give both businesses greater flexibility to focus on and pursue their respective growth strategies, while potentially providing shareholders with greater value over the longer term,” added Almeida.
If a spin-off is executed, the resulting Covidien medical products business would have annual sales of approximately $9.6 billion, about evenly split between the U.S. and non-U.S. markets. The Medical Devices business segment would represent about 80% of the company’s sales, with Medical Supplies comprising the remainder.
Covidien’s pharmaceuticals business currently generates approximately $2 billion in annual sales, with about two-thirds derived from the U.S. market. This concentration in the U.S., where the business holds the significant leadership position noted above, would enable the new company to compete more effectively in the growing pain management category. The spin-off also would give the new company a better opportunity to bring to market innovative products currently in its pipeline and would give it the financial and strategic flexibility to pursue its growth plans, including expansion outside the U.S.
Covidien expects that completion of the transaction could take up to 18 months. Completion of the transaction is expected to be subject to certain conditions and final approval by the company's board of directors.