Pfizer is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its consumer-health joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline in 3-4 years, as the two drugmakers turn back toward the lab.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, discussed the time frame for the IPO at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. The plan provides New York-based Pfizer with a clear exit strategy, he said.
The world’s biggest supplier of over-the-counter medicines will be one of the industry’s only standalones, facing off with companies integrated into larger entities such as Johnson & Johnson, Bayer AG and Procter & Gamble Co.
With annual sales of about $13 billion, it brings under one roof Advil painkillers, Tums stomach tablets, Sensodyne toothpaste and Nicorette gum.
Both Glaxo, the majority owner, and Pfizer, which has about a third of the business, are looking to focus on drug development.
Recent shifts in the health-care business and in the broader economy have challenged a model in which drugmakers control every corner of home medicine cabinets.
Big pharma companies are increasingly focused on developing high-priced new medicines that draw on cutting-edge research in genetics and other fields.