J&J's consumer group Kenvue set for $41B IPO, the largest US market debut in more than a year

It's been nearly 18 months since Johnson & Johnson said it would spin off its consumer healthcare group into a separate company. Now, the split is finally here.

J&J's consumer group Kenvue will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange starting today, May 4, for $22 per share, according to a statement from the two companies. The companies are selling more than 172 million shares to the public, pricing the offering at around $41 billion.

This will be the largest IPO in U.S. markets in more than a year, according to CNBC. Kenvue will trade under the ticker "KVUE."

After the IPO closes, which is expected on May 8, J&J will hold around 90% of the total shares in Kenvue. 

J&J first unveiled plans for the consumer spinoff in late 2021, following a prominent trend in the drug industry. In September 2022, J&J said the standalone consumer company would be called Kenvue.

Ahead of the official split, Kenvue has been operating as a “company within a company," J&J's chief financial officer Joseph Wolk said on a conference call in late April.

J&J's consumer healthcare group generated $14.95 billion in global sales last year, a slight decline from 2021. In the first quarter of this year, the group pulled down $3.85 billion, more than a 7% gain from the same period in 2022.

Aside from J&J, pharma giants including GSK, Pfizer and Merck have already exited the consumer healthcare business.

In addition, Novartis is in the process of spinning off its generics and biosimilar business Sandoz to focus on innovative medicines.