J&J (ticker: JNJ) announced on Monday that the preliminary proration estimate stands at 23.8%. This means that J&J holders who took part in the exchange offer will have only 23.8% of their shares exchanged for Kenvue (KVUE) stock. All remaining J&J shares submitted by investors will be returned.
Popular Exchange Offer
The exchange offer, which was revealed at the end of July, saw an impressive response from J&J holders. Approximately 803 million J&J shares were tendered, accounting for around 30% of the healthcare giant's outstanding stock.
Exception for Small Holders
An exception to the proration exists for J&J holders who owned fewer than 100 shares and submitted all of them in the exchange offer. These holders will not be subject to proration. The offer attracted significant interest from retail investors since J&J incentivized the swap by offering approximately $107.50 in Kenvue stock for every $100 in J&J shares.
Kenvue's Consumer Health Business
Kenvue, a consumer health business known for its popular brands like Tylenol, Listerine, and Band-Aid, was taken public by J&J in May.
The final proration figure, set to be announced on Wednesday, ended up slightly lower than Wall Street estimates. Analysts had predicted a range of 25% to 30%. J&J holders had the option to submit all, some, or none of their holdings in the exchange offer.
Potential Share Estimates
Based on estimations, a J&J holder who submitted 1,000 shares in the exchange offer could receive approximately 1,911 shares of Kenvue and retain 762 shares of J&J. For each J&J share accepted in the exchange, participating holders can expect to receive roughly 8.03 shares of Kenvue.
In early trading on Monday, Kenvue stock experienced a 1.7% increase, reaching $23.25. Conversely, J&J stock declined by 2.1%, now valued at $168.82.
Wall Street Expects Kenvue Stock to Rally as J&J Feels the Pressure
Many on Wall Street had anticipated the recent shift in the market as arbitragers took advantage of the attractive 7% discount on Kenvue stock offered by J&J through an exchange offer. Now that the arbitrage activity has concluded, Kenvue stock is experiencing a rally while J&J is facing pressure.
Prior to the exchange offer, Kenvue stock had been trading around $25. However, with the proration coming in slightly lower than expected, there is potential for additional upward pressure on Kenvue stock.
One optimistic scenario for Kenvue is that it could soon trade to approximately $25, especially considering its impending inclusion in the prestigious S&P 500 index. The exact date of this inclusion is yet to be determined, but some speculators believe an announcement from S&P Dow Jones Indices could occur as early as this week.
According to Citi analyst Filippo Falorni, "KVUE shares have been under pressure from event-driven funds during the exchange tender period, and we expect additional volatility during the averaging period (8/14-16) and on 8/21-22 as event-driven funds readjust their positions post-close. We anticipate KVUE will outperform in the following weeks, as shares return to trading based on fundamentals." Falorni holds a positive outlook for Kenvue stock, setting a price target of $26. He also highlights the upcoming S&P 500 inclusion as a bullish factor.
J&J's exchange offer involves swapping nearly 191 million shares of its own stock for 1.53 billion Kenvue shares that it retained after taking Kenvue public in May. Following the exchange, J&J will maintain 9.5% ownership of Kenvue, equating to approximately 180 million shares.
Initially, some analysts predicted that J&J would exchange its entire stake in Kenvue, amounting to 1.7 billion shares. However, the company has chosen to retain an interest in the consumer-health company. It is expected that the remaining stake in Kenvue will eventually be distributed to J&J shareholders.
The exchange offer or split-off effectively functions as a significant stock buyback for J&J, featuring the retirement of approximately 7% of its shares, all funded by Kenvue stock.