LONDON — The British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser said on Monday that it would seek to spin off its pharmaceutical business to existing shareholders.
The spinoff, which is expected in the next 12 months, would allow Reckitt Benckiser – the maker of Clearasil acne treatments, Lysol cleaning products and Durex condoms – to focus on its core consumer health and hygiene businesses. The new shares would be listed in Britain.
In October, Reckitt Benckiser reviewed its pharmaceutical business, which has experienced declining sales and market share in recent quarters. The bulk of its drug sales are from Suboxone, which is used to treat dependence on heroin and other opiates.
“We believe that RB Pharmaceuticals has the potential to deliver significant long-term value creation as a stand-alone business,” Rakesh Kapoor, the chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, said in a statement.
The company said on Monday that revenue in its pharmaceuticals business, excluding the effect of exchange rates, was down 5 percent in the second quarter, at 174 million pounds, or about $295.3 million, from the period a year earlier. Revenue in the first half of the year was down 8 percent, at £344 million.
“There has also been some pressure on pricing, particularly in the second quarter, due to the competitive environment,” the company said.
The pharmaceutical business’s market share for addiction therapies fell to 63 percent in the second quarter from 64 percent in the first quarter, Reckitt Benckiser said.
“A stand-alone business will be best placed to create value for shareholders as it manages the challenges and seizes the opportunities within the field of addiction,” the company said. “We also believe that RBP will be a more attractive partner for business development opportunities as a stand-alone and separately managed entity.”
In March, Reckitt Benckiser agreed to acquire the K-Y brand of personal lubricants from Johnson & Johnson as part of its effort to focus on consumer health and hygiene brands.
Reckitt Benckiser, which also makes Woolite detergents and French’s mustard, was founded in 1823. It sells its products in nearly 200 countries and employs more than 35,000 people worldwide. The company posted revenue of £4.32 billion in the first half of 2014.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Reckitt Benckiser’s planned transaction. The company is spinning off its pharmaceutical business to existing shareholders. It is not conducting an initial public offering.
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