Pfizer (PFE) Moves One Step Closer to Split as CEO Read Mulls Idea

January 29, 2013 4:53 PM EST
Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE) ended Tuesday's session up over three percent following solid quarter results issued before markets opened.

On the company's conference call today, CEO Ian Read noted that Pfizer may mull splitting its generics business and branded medicines unit. Read noted that existing operations would need to be changed given the long-term nature of the proposition.

The suggestion was first made on January 15th by specialty care and oncology business president Geno Germano.

Read noted that Pfizer would first work on management separation and then evaluate whether or not shareholders would rather invest in two separate companies.

Though Pfizer is a $200 billion dollar company, the split might be a little easier than expected. In developed markets like the U.S. and Europe, Pfizer largely operates as two separate units as is. Pfizer might implement a similar structure in emerging markets, which largely bases operations around regions or countries rather than branded or generic.

Earlier in January, one Goldman analyst said Pfizer's new, branded drugs business would have sales of $36 billion in 2013, while the generic segment would produce turnover of about $17 billion.

Shares of Pfizer are flat in late trading.

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