Zoetis Shares Rise in Market Debut

By FOXBusiness

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS), the animal-health business that used be a subsidiary of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), began trading publicly Friday morning as a standalone company in what marks the largest IPO since Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

The Madison, N.J.-based company, the world’s largest maker of medicines for pets and livestock, debuted at $31.50, 21% above its $26 offer price as investors fought to get a piece of the spun-off Pfizer business.

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The company raised about $2.2 billion in an initial public offering, showing the largest investor appetite since Facebook began trading publicly last May.

"This is a proud moment for all Zoetis and Pfizer employees," said Pfizer CEO Ian Read. "For Pfizer, we are better positioned to focus on our core business as an innovative biopharmaceutical company.”

The New York-based pharmaceutical giant announced plans last June to spin off the animal-health business as it looked to get back to its core strategy and lower expenses.

The move comes amid the ongoing patent cliff, which caused Pfizer to lose patent exclusivity of some of its blockbuster drugs, including Lipitor, severely impacting sales amid intensifying generic competition.

Zoetis reported revenue of $3.2 billion for the first nine months of 2012, or about 7% of Pfizer's total $43.9 billion revenue in the same period.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) served as lead underwriters on the deal.