Pfizer sets share price for animal health spinoff

Closing in on its IPO for its animal health unit Zoetis, Pfizer ($PFE) on Thursday reported that it would price shares between $22 and $25 each, potentially raising $2.2 billion when it happens at the end of the month, Bloomberg reports. The company intends to offer 86.1 million shares, a 20% stake, to investors.

Earlier in the day, the deal set off a scramble in the bond market with $30 billion in orders pouring in for a $3.65 billion four-part deal. For tax reasons, the sale starts with an equity-for-debt swap. After the IPO, Pfizer may distribute its remaining equity stake in Zoetis to shareholders, tax-free. Pfizer claims that the unit is the largest animal health and vaccines business in the world with sales in 2012 of $4.2 billion.

The company, the largest drugmaker in the world, has been trimming down under CEO Ian Read. The company has already agreed to sell its nutritionals business to Nestlé.

With the nutritionals and animal health deals close at hand, a report this week that Pfizer is doing some internal shuffling set off renewed speculation that it was priming for a breakup. Pfizer said it is separating operations of its on-patent prescription drug operations from the "established products" business, which encompasses off-patent Pfizer drugs and other generic products. The move is akin to what Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) did before it spun off its drug development business into AbbVie ($ABBV) this month.

- here's the Bloomberg report