Pfizer Agrees to Divest Some Products to Enable Deal

From Bloomberg News

Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drug maker, said Monday that it expected to complete its $53.9-billion purchase of Pharmacia Corp. next month after agreeing with U.S. antitrust regulators to sell the rights to some of its products.

The Federal Trade Commission staff will forward the proposal to the full commission for approval, Pfizer said.

Pfizer spokesman Andy McCormick declined to identify the products to be sold and said the divestitures would not have a material effect on business.

Pharmacia and Pfizer announced the takeover in July and originally had expected to complete the deal by the end of last year. The acquisition will allow Pfizer to get all the revenue for Celebrex and Bextra, top-selling arthritis painkillers that are now marketed jointly by the two companies.


“Pfizer will be a stronger-growing company, with more sources of growth, after the deal,” said Ken McQuade, a health analyst for Waddell & Reed Inc., which holds Pfizer and Pharmacia shares and oversees $23 billion. McQuade expects the combined company to have 15% earnings growth through 2006, above an industry average of about 12%.

FTC spokesman Mitch Katz said until the commission votes, the agency would not comment on pending transactions.

Pfizer last month agreed to divest five drugs to win European Commission approval for the acquisition.

Shares of New York-based Pfizer rose 75 cents to $29.70 on the New York Stock Exchange. Peapack, N.J.-based Pharmacia gained $1.26 to $41.39.