(Corrects spelling of CEO's first name to Juan from Jean in 8th
By Olivia Oran and Ransdell Pierson
Feb 1 Shares of Pfizer Inc's animal
health subsidiary Zoetis Inc, which sells drug products
and other services for livestock and pets, jumped 21 percent in
their New York Stock Exchange debut on Friday.
Shares opened at $31.50 after the Madison, New Jersey-based
company's stock was priced at $26, above an expected range of
$22 to $25 a share. They were trading down 1 cent at $31.49 in
Zoetis raised $2.2 billion in the largest initial public
offering by a U.S. company since Facebook Inc's IPO in
The offering comes as Zoetis' parent firm, Pfizer, the
world's biggest drugmaker, divests its nonpharmaceuticals units
to focus on its core prescription drugs business.
Last April, Pfizer sold its infant nutrition business to
Nestle SA for $11.9 billion.
Zoetis, which has annual sales of about $4.2 billion and
9,500 employees worldwide, is the largest player in the $22
billion animal health industry. It sells vaccines and
diagnostics, among other medicines. About two-thirds of its
sales are from products and services for livestock.
Pfizer will control roughly 80 percent of Zoetis after the
IPO, which accounts for 413.9 million Class B shares. The
drugmaker is expected to divest its stake within 18 months, and
return much of the proceeds to Pfizer shareholders in the form
of stock repurchases.
Zoetis' CEO, Juan Ramon Alaix, had been president of
Pfizer's animal health unit.
Alaix, citing industry data, on Friday said sales of
products for livestock are expected to have compound annual
growth of 6 percent for the next five years, while product sales
for companion animals should grow 5 percent each year.
"Our industry's growth is steady and predictable and we
believe Zoetis can grow in line with or faster than the market,"
he said in an interview.
Sales of animal health products cannot help but grow because
the world population, now about 7 billion, is expected to reach
9 billion in 2050, the CEO said.
"We will be able to provide products that increase
productivity related to livestock, and to products for more
people adopting pets," Alaix said.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Merrill
Lynch Corp and Morgan Stanley led the offering.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Matthew Lewis)