Before the market opened this morning, Lilly had announced that it was acquiring Johnson & Johnson's Animal Health businesses, for an undisclosed price.
By mid-morning, Pfizer had told Tim Anderson at Sanford Bernstein that it was considering spinning off, or divesting at least parts of its vast Animal Health businesses (including the legacy Fort Dodge businesses).
Add to this that we know Sanofi's and Merck's Merial JV is proposing the sale of perhaps one-third of those two companies' animal health assets.
What emerges -- in all this frenetic activity -- is that the traditional lead-names in Animal Health are likely no longer to be the lead names (say goodbye to Pfizer/Fort Dodge and J&J; say hello to Lilly & Co., and whomever turns out to be Merial's purchasers).
Here is a bit of how Matt Herper, writing at Forbes, describes the Pfizer game-changer -- but, do go read it all:
. . . .[Quoting Tim Anderson:] “We recently met with Pfizer’s new CEO Ian Read, and had we not heard it firsthand, we might not have appreciated just how serious he is about potentially splitting up the company,” Anderson writes. He goes on to say that Pfizer may shrink its revenue base by 40%, leaving behind only what Read calls the “innovative core. . . .”
According to Anderson, this could mean splitting out not only all of Pfizer’s non-pharma divisions [which plainly includes Pfizer/Fort Dodge Animal Health]. . . .
It looks to be a bumpy ride, from here, for the New Merial JV -- as almost all the pieces are in play out on the global game board.