Independence Day: Zoetis Frees Itself From Pfizer

Veterinary pharmaceuticals producer Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS  ) has separated itself from Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) , both companies announced yesterday.

Pfizer exchanged all 400,085,000 shares of its Zoetis stock in return for 405,117,195 shares of Pfizer stock from Zoetis. With this transaction, Pfizer will relinquish control of Zoetis.

"This is an historic day for Zoetis," said Zoetis CEO Juan Ramon Alaix in a statement. "We are setting off on the next stage in our company's life -- pursuing our own initiatives and strategies as a fully independent company."

With Pfizer's separation from Zoetis, Pfizer executives Geno Germano, Douglas Giordano, Charles Hill, and Amy Schulman have left Zoetis' board of directors. "The changes to our Board reflect our full independence from Pfizer," Alaix said. Zoetis appointed two new independent directors to the board, Sanjay Khosla and Robert Scully, and will continue to evaluate additional board candidates.

Scully has experience in the banking and financial services industries. Khosla has international business experience from his career with food, beverage, and consumer product leaders and animal health experience from a  three-year tenure as managing director of Fonterra Brands and Food Service, a multinational dairy cooperative based in New Zealand.

Zoetis was aligned with Pfizer for 60 years as its provider of animal health products. It produced revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. Pfizer spun off Zoetis, which held a successful initial public offering of its stock in February. The IPO raised $2.2 billion.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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