ABBOTT PARK, Ill.—Abbott has announced the successful separation of its research-based pharmaceuticals business.The separated business is now AbbVie Inc., a global, independentbiopharmaceutical company that will discover, develop and commercializetherapies for a range of the greatest health concerns facing the industrytoday.
The company launched on Jan. 1, with approximately 21,000employees at its North Chicago, Ill. headquarters. The company also has sevenresearch and development and manufacturing facilities worldwide, with apresence in North and South America, Latin America/Caribbean, Europe and AsiaPacific. Richard Gonzalez, a 30-year veteran of Abbott who served as executivevice president of the Pharmaceuticals Products Group, president and chiefoperating officer, will be leading AbbVie as its chairman and CEO.
"We wish our colleagues at AbbVie continued success asthey become part of a new, independent company that is already making asignificant difference, focusing on highly specialized, market-leadingtherapies for some of the world's most difficult-to-treat diseases," saidMiles D. White, chairman and CEO of Abbott, in a press release regarding theseparation.
Abbott announced its plans to separate into two independentcompanies back in October 2011, when it revealed its intention to form twopublicly traded companies, "one in diversified medical products and the otherin research-based pharmaceuticals." The former consists of Abbott's diversifiedmedical products portfolio, including its branded generic pharmaceutical,devices, diagnostic and nutritional businesses, and is the business that willcontinue under the Abbott name. AbbVie is a research-based pharmaceuticalscompany with leadership in the fields of immunology and virology, and will moveforward with Abbott's portfolio of proprietary pharmaceuticals and biologics.
Thanks to that portfolio, AbbVie will begin life with 10programs already in Phase III development, and with 15 major regulatorysubmissions planned between 2013 and 2017. The company's Phase II/III drugcandidates fall in the therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology, women'shealth, neuroscience and renal disease. A Morningstar article on the separationqualifies AbbVie's outlook as being "highly dependent" on the success ofHumira: "Accounting for more than half of AbbVie's projected 2012 sales, Humirais the key driver of our valuation and outlook for the firm." Morningstarvalues AbbVie at $38 per share, and notes that the company will carry roughly$16 billion in debt and $7 billion in cash following the separation.
"Abbott has taken the most transformative action in its125-year history," said White. "We have had enduring successprecisely because of what we're doing now – reinventing ourselves for changingtimes and creating new ways to serve the millions of patients, customers,communities and shareholders who depend on us."
Abbott's board of directors approved the separation on Nov.28, 2012, and simultaneously declared a special dividend distribution of alloutstanding shares of AbbVie common stock, which completed the separation.Following the distribution, Abbott retains no ownership interest in AbbVie.White noted in the distribution announcement that both companies "are wellpositioned to begin 2013 as leaders in their respective markets."
Abbott consists of four roughly equal businesses:diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals.2013 will mark Abbott's 125th year, which the company will kick off with nearly$22 billion in revenues, generated in the 150 countries in which thepharmaceutical giant boasts a presence.