For its next pare-down move, Pfizer weighs sale of Hospira pump business: Bloomberg

Analysts eager for a Pfizer ($PFE) split saw its $15 billion Hospira purchase as a step toward breaking off the drug giant's established products business. Hospira brought along a suite of injectable generics and a biosimilars portfolio that would beef up the unit to go independent.

Pfizer CEO Ian Read

Now, Pfizer isn't quite ready for that big split, particularly with its Allergan ($AGN) megamerger in the works. But according to Bloomberg, it is thinking about selling off Hospira's pumps and devices business, which doesn't fit in with the rest of Pfizer's established products division.

The potential sale is still in very early stages and Pfizer may choose not to go through with it. But if it does, Pfizer could rope in about $2 billion through the sale, Bloomberg sources said. A representative from Pfizer declined to comment to the news outlet.

Last year, Pfizer snatched up Hospira in a play to build up its established products division, which analysts see as ripe for an eventual sale or spinoff. The unit raked in $25.1 billion in 2014, even as rival generics drug took their toll on some of the older brands in its portfolio. Adding Hospira's meds pumps up sales, and selling the devices business would create a more pure-play drugs unit for sale, IPO or spinoff.

Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor

Pfizer is also said to be considering a sale of its consumer health business, after it moves ahead with the $160 billion Allergan merger announced in November. Pfizer divesting its consumer assets is "inevitable," Exane BNP Paribas analysts said last year. And the company already has a "very interested" buyer in Reckitt Benckiser, Reckitt CEO Rakesh Kapoor told Bloomberg in December.

In the meantime, though, Pfizer has plenty on its plate with its Allergan plans. The transaction would create the world's biggest pharma company and move Pfizer's domicile to Allergan's tax-friendly Ireland. While there could be some obstacles further down the road due to new Treasury Department rules aimed at curbing tax inversions, the rules "do not seem to materially impact" Pfizer and Allergan's tie-up, Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson wrote last year in a note to clients.

- read the Bloomberg story

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