Abbott racks up $14.5B in financing for AbbVie spinoff

Wondering how Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) plans to finance its spinoff of the soon-to-be-independent pharma division? Wonder no more. Reuters sources say the company is tapping a mix of bridge financing and revolving credit, for a total of $14.5 billion.

The financing package is led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, the news service reports. It includes a $7.5 billion bridge loan handled by Morgan Stanley as administrative agent, plus a $5 billion revolver handled by JP Morgan and another $2 billion revolver led by BAML.

The biggest loan package this year, the $14.5 billion total will facilitate Abbott's separation into two publicly traded companies: a diversified medical products company under the Abbott Labs name, and a pharma-centric company dubbed AbbVie. The split will involve a tax-free distribution of AbbVie stock to Abbott shareholders. As Reuters notes, the AbbVie spinoff is the biggest separation transaction ever in healthcare.

- read the Reuters news