Recently, General Electric (NYSE:GE), Zimmer Biomet (NYSE: ZBH) and Toshiba (TYO:6502) announced their plans to slim down by spinning out core businesses. Now, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is following a similar approach by making its consumer health business a standalone company.
J&J will retain its pharmaceutical and medical device segments.
The company said in an announcement that it made the decision to boost operational performance and strategic flexibility.
The company’s consumer segment has been in the spotlight recently, given a rash of talcum powder lawsuits alleging the company’s talcum powder products contained asbestos.
J&J recently spun off a separate company known as LTL, and then transferred the talcum-powder lawsuits into LTL.
The latest consumer health company will be publicly traded.
Alex Gorsky will continue to be the executive chairman of Johnson & Johnson until January 3, 2022, when Joaquin Duato, the company’s vice chairman of the executive committee, assumes the role.
The new consumer healthcare firm will be the face of prominent brands such as Neutrogena, Aveeno, Listerine and Band-Aids.
After the separation, Johnson & Johnson would continue to be the biggest and most diverse healthcare company, according to a briefing note from Wells Fargo.
“Given that there is not much synergy between the Consumer business and the other JNJ segments, this initiative makes sense to us,” said Wells Fargo in a briefing note. Wells Fargo also speculates that Johnson & Johnson may be considering whether to also separate its medical device and pharma businesses. The bank, however, made no specific prediction that it would do so.
Wells Fargo concluded that that decision would make each new organization more nimble, adding that the slimmer parent company should continue to have competitive pharma and medical device segments.
Moodys concluded that J&J’s plan to separate its consumer business could have a negative impact on its credit rating, given the “reduction in scale, diversity and earnings that will ensue from the transaction,” explained Moodys senior vice President, Michael Levesque, in a press statement. “There is currently no change to J&J’s Aaa long-term rating, but Moody’s will continue to evaluate,” he added.