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Kimberly-Clark to Spin Off Healthcare Business

The unit accounts for 7.7% of its overall sales

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB)Shares of Kimberly-Clark (KMB) surged almost 3% in Friday pre-market trading after the company said it plans to separate its health care unit.

KMB’s medical products business manufactures a variety of health care-related items, including catheters, surgical masks and sterile bandages. The unit generates about $1.6 billion in annual sales, 70% of which are made in North America. The company said the spin-off would be a tax-free transaction, Bloomberg noted.

Comprising 7.7% of KMB’s total sales last year, the health care unit posted a 4% gain in sales in the most recent quarter. KMB’s European group president, Robert Abernathy, will become CEO of the health care business when it becomes a separate, publicly-traded company.

After the spin off, KMB management will refocus on its core consumer products business.

Last year. KMB reported overall sales of $21.1 billion.

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