Pfizer exploring sale of its consumer products unit

Pfizer may be looking to sell off its consumer products unit. In a statement released yesterday, the New York drug maker said it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (PCH) business including retaining, spinning off or selling the business. “The objective of the review is to unlock the value of the business for Pfizer shareholders at a time when market valuations are attractive for large, high-quality consumer businesses,” the statement said. PCH’s product line includes products such as Listerine mouthwash, Bengay pain relieving cream, Dramamine for motion sickness and Visine eye drops. The division’s sales rose 10 % to $3.8 billion last year as sales of Pfizer’s prescription products fell 4% to $44 billion. Based on values of similar consumer-products companies, PCH, if sold outright, could fetch $8 billion to $11 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported today. PCH is likely to be attractive to large consumer products companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Pfizer said it has yet to make a final decision but could provide more details on Friday when the drug firm holds a meeting with investors.  “At the February 10 meeting, Pfizer will provide a comprehensive overview of its business and financial strategy, including key products and its industry-leading pipeline, as well as further elaborate on this strategic initiative,” Pfizer said.