Home / Companies / News /  Reckitt Benckiser plans December spin-off for pharma unit

London: Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc said the separation of its pharmaceutical division will take place through a distribution to existing shareholders next month.

Investors will receive one share in the unit, to be known as Indivior Plc, for each share they own, the Slough, England-based company said on Monday in a statement. Trading in Indivior shares is expected to start in London 23 December, it said.

Reckitt Benckiser announced the spin-off in July, when it said the business that once accounted for a fifth of earnings doesn’t fit into chief executive officer (CEO) Rakesh Kapoor’s long-term plans to focus on consumer health. Indivior gets almost all its £780 million ($1.2 billion) of revenue from Suboxone, a drug to treat addiction to opioids including heroin. Kapoor has said that isn’t “a space we want to be in."

“The business has a profitable opioid addiction business and a strong pipeline that has the potential to revolutionize how the chronic disease is treated worldwide," Howard Pien, chairman of Indivior, said in the statement.

Reckitt Benckiser fell 10 pence, or 0.2%, to 5,315 pence at 8 am in London trading.

Indivior Valuations

The spin-off comes as Kapoor pushes further into consumer healthcare through acquisitions and new products. That division has grown from 5% of revenue in 2005 to 30%, and now accounts for more than a third of operating profit.

Valuations for Indivior, which will continue to be run by CEO Shaun Thaxter after the spin-off, have ranged from about £1 billion to as much as £4.8 billion.

The division’s sales are falling as generic variants of Suboxone are introduced by competitors. Revenue declined 9% at constant exchange rates in the third quarter.

Since 2010, Suboxone has been sold in a film-strip format which has captured about two-thirds of the market in the US. Bloomberg

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