ZURICH Aug 12 Galenica said on Tuesday
it planned to list its pharmaceutical and healthcare units and
appointed new heads of both divisions in preparation for such
action "when the time is right".
In a separate interview published on Galenica's website,
chairman Etienne Jornod said Vifor, the drug division, would be
equipped to stand alone in three to five years.
The Bern-based firm said it would hire Shire
executive Soren Tulstrup as head of its drugs division and
appoint Joerg Kneubuehler, currently finance chief of Galenica,
as head of its healthcare division.
Tulstrup and Kneubuehler, who will both report to Jornod,
replace Galenica Chief Executive David Ebsworth, who will advise
special projects until he retires in one year.
"With this move, the Board of Directors of the Galenica
Group is creating the best possible conditions for both the
Vifor Pharma and Galenica Sante units to prepare to become
listed, independent companies when the time is right," the
Bern-based company said in a statement.
Galenica's drug unit is best known for iron deficiency
treatments such as Injectafer. The healthcare arm runs several
chains of pharmacies in Switzerland.
Major Galenica shareholders include a group around Swiss
investor Martin Ebner, which owns 15.76 percent in shares and
call options, an investor group linked to Alliance Boots, which
owns 25.48 percent, and Swiss bank Credit Suisse with
7.5 percent in shares, options and swaps.
Alongside news of the planned split, Galenica reported a 9
percent drop in first-half net profit to 134.7 million Swiss
francs ($148.3 million) as sales rose nearly 1 percent.
(1 US dollar = 0.9082 Swiss franc)
(Reporting By Katharina Bart and Oliver Hirt; Editing by Sophie