Pfizer and Wyeth Put the Horse Before the Cart

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) and Wyeth (NYSE: WYE  ) moved one step closer to creating their $75-billion-revenue animal yesterday, but it'll mean selling fewer animal-health products.

To satisfy antitrust regulators, the companies will sell products -- mostly cattle and small-animal vaccines and some animal-health pharmaceuticals -- to Boehringer Ingelheim. The German drugmaker is also getting research and manufacturing facilities from Wyeth's Fort Dodge Animal Health division as part of the deal.

Pfizer and Wyeth didn't disclose the price, but considering that it was less than 10% of the animal-health revenue from the combined company, the price probably doesn't matter that much. What's important for investors is that they're one step closer to closing the deal in the fourth quarter and getting on with the integration of the two companies.

Pfizer isn't the only one that's had to adjust its animal-health products to get its acquisition done. In July, Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) announced that it was selling its half of animal-health joint venture, Merial, to partner sanofi-aventis (NYSE: SNY  ) to complete its acquisition of Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP  ) .

Bayer, Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY  ) , and any other pharmaceutical companies that seem to have missed out on picking up animal-health assets in the past few month need not be too discouraged. It appears that Pfizer still has a few more assets to divest, and there's a possibility that Sanofi and Merck will become partners again once the Merck-Schering deal completes -- Sanofi received the option as part of its acquisition of Merial -- which might require the divestiture of some overlapping animal-health assets.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves -- first the companies have to get these deals closed.

Pfizer is a recommendation of the Inside Value newsletter. If you're interested in picking through the wreckage for possible turnaround candidates, you should have the Inside Value team on your side. Check it out for free with a 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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