Pfizer Mum On Consumer Business Plans As Analysts Say Spin-off
Pfizer continues to review options for its consumer business, though analysts say a spin-off makes most sense. During its fourth-quarter earnings call, firm reported the division's US sales slumped 9% but 12% growth in international markets buoyed the worldwide results.
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Pfizer consumer health sales up 4% to $3.6bn in 2018 as it prepares to move business into JV with GSK anticipated to close in the second half of 2019. Following 2% growth in 2017, a flat year in 2016 and a dip in 2015, Pfizer's view is confirmed of consumer health as a reliable revenue stream but not a strong growth driver.
Biopharma financing started the year solidly with $16.6 billion in total deal value, a 14% increase over the previous quarter. Q1 2018 biopharma merger and acquisition deal value, led by Cigna's $67 billion buy of Express Scripts, topped even the previous all-time-high set in Q4 2107, while alliances totaled $30.7 billion and featured big oncology and neurology partnerships.
UPDATE: SOON AFTER PUBLICATION OF THIS ARTICLE GSK ANNOUNCED IT HAD WITHDRAWN FROM THE BIDDING FOR PFIZER'S CONSUMER HEALTH BUSINESS. GSK looks likely to be the top bidder for Pfizer's consumer health business, with an offer announcement expected soon – but are more OTC products the answer to the UK major's longer-term sustainability and growth issues?