19-Oct-2011

Abbott plans to split into two businesses

Abbott plans to become two publicly traded companies, one in diversified medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals.

Miles White, chairman and chief executive of Abbott, said this is a ‘significant event’ for the 123-year old firm and would help it achieve ‘strong and sustainable growth and shareholder returns’.

The research-based pharmaceutical company will sell Abbott's branded pharmaceuticals and biologics, including the Humira, Lupron, Synagis, Kaletra, Creon and Synthroid brands.

Richard Gonzalez, currently executive vice president, Global Pharmaceuticals, will lead the business, which has not yet been named. It will continue to generate most of its revenue of about US$18bn annually from developed markets and focus on products in the therapeutic areas of immunology, multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney disease, Hepatitis C, women's health and oncology.

White will remain chairman and ceo of the diversified medical products company. This will retain the Abbott name and generate annual revenue of approximately $22bn. It will include Abbott’s branded generic pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic tests and nutritional products. It is expected to generate nearly 40% of its sales in high-growth emerging markets.

‘Abbott will be one of the largest and fastest-growing global diversified medical products companies, with a compelling portfolio of durable growth businesses in medical technology, branded generic pharmaceuticals and nutritionals,’ said White. ‘We will continue to grow our product lines, market share and global presence, especially in emerging markets.’

Gonzelez added: ‘The research-based pharmaceutical company will be a leader in its industry with a strong and sustainable portfolio of specialist medicines and a promising pipeline of future products.’

The split should be completed by the end of next year, but is subject to final approval by the Abbott board of directors.

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