Pfizer reportedly weighing animal health IPO

Pfizer isn't saying much about its divestment plans. But that doesn't stop other people from talking. The latest? An IPO for the animal-health division, reported by the Financial Times. The FT's sources say Pfizer ($PFE) has been talking to bankers about selling up to 19.9% of the veterinary business via a public offering.

According to the London business daily, the stake sale would help Pfizer set the stage for a full spinoff. The animal health unit could gain a higher profile with investors, ginning up interest--and perhaps boosting share prices--for a follow-up offering. The FT's sources say Pfizer is looking to launch the IPO this fall.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports Danone and Nestle have submitted preliminary bids for Pfizer's nutrition unit, each at around $10 billion. Quoting sources, the news service says both bidders are coming up with plans to appease antitrust regulators should their offer be accepted. Nestle is looking at buying all of Pfizer's nutrition assets and plans to auction off bits it can't keep for regulatory reasons, while Danone is looking at splitting the business with Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.

Pfizer maintains it's still evaluating all of its options for the animal health unit and hasn't made any decisions about the nutrition-unit sale or spinoff. The company has announced plans to shed both units as it slims down to focus more narrowly on prescription drugs.

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