Russia's biggest drugmaker Pharmstandard to spin off OTC business

Pharmstandard, Russia's biggest drugmaker, today said that it will spin-off its branded over-the-counter (OTC) medicine business, which may be valued at around $2.5 billion, according to industry analysts.

The Moscow-based company said in a statement that it has ''decided to initiate necessary steps for a spin-off of company's branded over-the-counter business into a separate legal entity whose shares will be proportionally distributed among the shareholders of the company.''

Pharmstandard will hold a conference call tomorrow to clarify details of spin-off process and provide details later by an additional notice.

Moscow and London-listed Pharmstandard manufactures more than 250 pharmaceutical products including drugs for treatments of cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, growth hormone deficiency, gastroenterological, neurological, contagious diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer and other diseases.

Pharmstandard's shares are traded in Moscow and its depositary receipts in London.

Its most popular drugs are Arbidol, Complivit, Pentalgin, Flucostat, Phosphogliv, Amixin, Afobazol, Rastan and Biosulin.

The company has eight modern plants spread across Russia with a total production capacity of more than 1.7 billion packs per year.

Pharmstandard posted net income of $297 million in 2012 on revenues of $1.6 billion, as sales of its OTC drugs fell 4.5 per cent to $451 million.