Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health business is inching closer to becoming independent, filing plans Wednesday for an initial public offering that would float the unit as a separate company called Kenvue.
The business, which sells a suite of consumer medicines and products like Tylenol and Band-Aid, has been preparing to split from J&J since the pharmaceutical giant announced the spinoff in November 2021. J&J has previously said it expects the separation to be completed by mid- to late-2023.
Kenvue has already named its CEO, J&J executive Thibaut Mongon, as well as its chief financial officer and chair designate. The IPO filing is a step forward towards completing the separation, which represents a major corporate shakeup for the world’s largest maker of prescription drugs.
While the filing indicates Kenvue aims to raise $100 million, that is likely a placeholder figure and the IPO will almost certainly raise significantly more. Renaissance Capital, a research firm, estimates the offering could raise as much as $5 billion, which would make it one of the largest IPOs. Within the drug industry, the largest in recent years was Royalty Pharma’s $2.2 billion raise in 2020.
The filing comes after a year in which far fewer companies managed to navigate their way to public markets, a shift that was felt particularly acutely among biotechnology companies. In 2022, only 22 biotech IPOs were completed, compared to 104 in 2021.
As a unit of J&J, Kenvue reported over $15 billion in consumer health sales in 2021, with profits totaling $2 billion. The business includes brands such as Neutrogena, Aveeno and Nicorette.
Proceeds from the IPO will go to J&J, which will hold at least 80% of the voting power of Kenvue’s common stock. Following the offering’s completion, J&J plans to distribute all or some of its remaining equity interest in Kenvue to its shareholders.