It's official: Pfizer files its animal-health IPO

Pfizer's ($PFE) animal health unit filed its long-awaited IPO documents. As promised by CEO Ian Read at the end of last month, the newly named Zoetis unit submitted its official go-public plans to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The details are sketchy at this point, apart from the amount those Zoetis shares are expected to raise. That's $100 million. Number of shares? As-yet unspecified. Price range: Undetermined. Ticker and exchange: Unannounced.

Also unspecified is the size of the stake that IPO represents. Pfizer says it will be "up to 20%." But $100 million seems like a bargain for 20% of a company whose 2011 sales amounted to $4.2 billion. Of course, the final amount could be higher, but how much higher?

What's certain is that the Zoetis IPO, the first step toward a wholesale spinoff of the unit, is also another step toward the pared-down future Read envisions. In that future, Pfizer will have its innovative-drugs arm and its value arm, made up of generics and consumer meds. Its focus will be sharper. Presumably, that means it will be more effective and efficient, too.

Gone will be Zoetis, Capsugel (which Pfizer sold last year) and its baby formula business (which Nestle is in the process of buying). Also gone: a bunch of R&D programs, facilities, and employees, not to mention costs.

- read the Pfizer announcement
- see the Reuters news