Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson on Friday announced plans to break up into two listed companies, separating its consumer health arm that sells Band-Aids and Tylenol from its pharmaceutical division. Johnson & Johnson said in a statement it will create "two global leaders that are better positioned to deliver improved health outcomes for patients and consumers through innovation."
It is the third major company to announce plans to break up its business this week after General Electric and Toshiba. Shares in the 135-year-old company climbed more than 3.5-percent on Wall Street in pre-market trading Friday following the announcement. Johnson & Johnson plans to complete the separation in 18-24 months, creating two publicly traded companies.
CEO Alex Gorsky said the decision was made following a "comprehensive review." The board and management believe the split is "the best way to accelerate our efforts to serve patients, consumers, and healthcare professionals, create opportunities for our talented global team, drive profitable growth, and most importantly, improve healthcare outcomes for people around the world," he said
The consumer health branch, which produces Neutrogena skincare products and baby powder, generated $3.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, nearly 16 percent of the group's total revenue. The company's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine generated nearly $20 billion in revenue in the period. The company said its more than 136,000 employees around the world "will remain the backbone of these businesses."