Pfizer Inc. Spinoff No Need for Worry in Groton, Conn.: Analyst

Published: Jan 16, 2013

A news report Tuesday that Pfizer Inc. could be split into two companies in the next few years shouldn’t necessarily concern scientists at the company’s laboratories in Groton, according to a health care firm analyst. Les Funtleyder, president of the investment advisory division of New York-based Poliwogg Inc., said a report by Bloomberg news service that sparked speculation Pfizer might soon cut itself in two is largely conjecture. New York-based Pfizer still has to finalize its already announced animal-health spinoff and other issues before tackling a possible move to split its new-medicines operations from its generics portfolio, a process that would take well over a year, he said. But Funtleyder said any spinoff that eventually occurs would likely be a good thing for Pfizer’s R&D scientists. Pfizer employs about 3,500 people in the region. "It probably wouldn’t mean a change as far as employment," Funtleyder said. "It could mean more focus on R&D." Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Geno Germano, Pfizer’s president of specialty care and oncology, said in an interview that the company’s four business divisions would probably be whittled down to two at some point, representing so-called "innovative business" (R&D for new products) and "value business" (generics). "We really see the business segmenting into these two segments with pretty different capabilities, and we would want to organize in a way that we realize the most value for shareholders," Germano told Bloomberg. Germano didn’t specifically say Pfizer was preparing to spin off one of its core businesses, but analysts already had been speculating that a split might be in the cards, and Germano’s comments fueled further speculation.

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