Reckitt Benckiser plans launch of pharmaceutical unit spin-off Indivior on December 23

Reckitt Benckiser said Monday that the spin-off of its pharmaceuticals business will occur next month, with shares in the new company called Indivior expected to commence trading on December 23. The company, which first revealed its intention to separate the drugs unit in July, indicated that shareholders will vote on whether to approve the transaction on December 11.

Under the split, Reckitt Benckiser shareholders will receive one Indivior ordinary share for each company share they currently hold. Reckitt Benckiser's board said that the spin-off "is in the best interests of both [Reckitt Benckiser] and Indivior and will result in a stronger future for both." Reckitt Benckiser chairman Adrian Bellamy remarked "accordingly the board...unanimously recommends shareholders to vote in favour of the demerger."

Analysts' valuations for Indivior range from about 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to as much as 4.8 billion pounds ($7.5 billion). The new company will derive the majority of its 780 million pounds ($1.2 billion) in revenue from the opioid-dependence drug Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone). Indivior chairman Howard Pien commented "the business has a profitable opioid addiction business and a strong pipeline that has the potential to revolutionise how the chronic disease is treated."

However, sales from Indivior's products are forecast by analysts to decline by about 12.5 percent this year to 680 million pounds ($1.1 billion), mainly as a result of generic competition to Suboxone. Indivior CEO Shaun Thaxter has expressed confidence in renewed growth in the long term, as the company develops new products to meet increased demand for anti-addiction therapies. Thaxter noted that addiction has "increasingly...become understood as an everyday problem where patients need help."

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