Animal health leader Zoetis is using a move out of the Amgen playbook, whacking on manufacturing to cut costs and appease an aggressive activist investor.
Activist investors can be hard on pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs. When they show up on boards, CEOs can get nervous about cutting costs and raising stock prices, and manufacturing sites are often an easy target for those kinds of short-term gains. Animal health leader Zoetis today laid out just such a plan.
Turns out it may not be just Bayer's plastics business that's on its way out the door. The company is reportedly exploring a sale of its diabetes device business as it rides pharma's slim-down wave.
Bayer hopes to sell its ailing diabetes device unit to help bolster growth and fund a potential acquisition of Zoetis. The conglomerate would like to focus more closely on medicines, which has been a faster growth area than devices.
Rumor has it, thanks to potential white knight Actavis, Bill Ackman and Valeant face a serious threat to their Allergan hostile bid. But Ackman may already be preparing for another move.
Now that Bayer has announced a planned spinoff of its plastics business, all eyes are on what it may do with the proceeds. And the way some analysts see it, that money could go toward a pickup of animal health company Zoetis.
Germany's Bayer has been on the sidelines while other Big Pharma players have been striking deals to expand or refocus. But that may not be for long with Bayer working on a couple of deals and thinking about unloading its plastics business to help pay for an expansion.
In December, the FDA asked animal health companies to voluntarily stop using antibiotics to promote growth of meatier cows, pigs, and other livestock. Now, the agency says 25 companies have signed on to its new guidelines, including Eli Lilly's Elanco, Novartis' animal health unit, and Zoetis.
Pfizer is on a diet, and it shows. The company pumped up 2013 earnings despite a sizable slide in sales, thanks to layoffs and cost cuts, not to mention the successful spinoff of its animal health business, Zoetis. And it's looking for more of the same for 2014.
It's well-documented that antibiotic resistance is a growing public health threat. Drug-resistant bacteria infect about 2 million Americans a year, causing at least 23,000 deaths, according to CDC data. Now, to keep resistance from mounting, the FDA is rolling out a plan to cut down on antibiotics use in livestock, enlisting the drugs' producers--companies like Eli Lilly and Zoetis--to help them do it.