Pfizer Considers Alternatives For Capsule Unit

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday it is reviewing its strategic alternatives for its Capsugel business unit, which makes hard capsules used to deliver medication.

The world's biggest drug maker said the alternatives it will examine include the possibility of selling the capsule business.

The company said Capsugel has strong potential for growth outside of Pfizer. The business generated $740 million in revenue in 2009.

Pfizer says it has hired Morgan Stanley to conduct the review. It expects to make an announcement on the results of the review by the end of the first quarter of next year.

"The decision to consider strategic alternatives for Capsugel is part of Pfizer's strategy to optimize its business mix and leverage its competitive strengths to deliver value for shareholders," Cavan Redmond, senior vice president and group president of Pfizer's diversified businesses, said in a statement.

Pfizer makes the cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor and impotence pill Viagra, among other drugs.

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