J&J's consumer health unit Kenvue prepares to leave the nest with IPO filing

Johnson & Johnson’s long-anticipated consumer health spin-off, Kenvue, is one step closer to becoming a reality.

After J&J revealed the spinoff plan back in November 2021 and established its leadership in May 2022, the consumer outfit has now laid out its business plan in a SEC filing for an initial public offering.

Its product portfolio includes well known products Tyleol, Neutrogena, Listerine and Band-Aid, just one of the aspects that the company hopes will attract investors.

In its filing, Kenvue says it's “the world's largest pure-play consumer health company by revenue,” with $15.1 billion in 2021 net sales. The company said each of its products are No. 1 in their respective market sectors, such as Johnson’s spot as the No. 1 baby toiletries brand globally. The company's market standing, as well as its “competitive financial portfolio,” are some strengths Kenvue hopes will reel in investors.

Still, the full details about the forthcoming offering, such as pricing and exact timing, remain unknown.

When noting risk factors, Kenvue made sure to mention the infamous Johnson’s Baby Powder and its mountain of talc-related litigation. LTL Management LLC, the subsidiary that J&J set up and filed for bankruptcy to enact the controversial “Texas Two Step” legal strategy, will remain J&J’s, not part of Kenvue. J&J will remain responsible for much of its talc liabilities but Kenvue will take on liabilities from talc or talc-containing products sold outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Upon completion of the IPO, J&J will retain ownership of at least 80.1% of the voting power of shares of common stock.

J&J’s decision to spin-off its consumer health company followed a trend of companies doing the same, including Merck, Sanofi, Pfizer and GSK. At the time, J&J said the separation would take 18 to 24 months.