Pharmaceutical and medical products manufacturer Abbott will split the company into two separate, publicly traded entities.

The Abbott Park, Ill.-based firm's $18 billion pharmaceutical business will be spun off, renamed, and led by Richard Gonzalez, currently executive vice president of global pharmaceuticals. Its flagship drugs include Humira, Lupron, Synagis, Kaletra, Creon and Synthroid.

The $22 billion medical products business will retain the Abbott name and Miles White will remain as chairman and CEO. The medical products include laboratory, point-of-care and molecular diagnostic technologies; and medical devices covering such areas as vascular, diabetes and vision care. The business line also includes generic drugs marketed outside the United States.

Abbott will conduct a tax-free distribution to shareholders of new publicly traded stock for the pharmaceutical company.

Abbott expects to complete the split of the two business lines by the end of 2012 and for the two companies to pay a stock dividend that, when combined, will equal the current Abbott dividend at the time of separation. More information is available at abbott.com.

 

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