Eli Lilly’s Elanco business provides solutions for ‘those who raise and care for animals.’


chris wattie/Reuters

Eli Lilly

LLY 2.03%

& Co. is taking public a minority ownership stake in its Elanco Animal Health business, the company said Tuesday.

The pharmaceutical company announced in October of last year that it was reviewing its animal health business, including spinning it off.

Chief Executive

David Ricks

has said that Eli Lilly used to depend on the business more in the past for revenue, but that its human-drug business is in a better place. On Tuesday, Mr. Ricks said the move would allow the company to focus more on its human pharmaceutical business.

Eli Lilly said the ownership stake that it will be taking public will be under 20 percent.

The company said it expects to file the registration statement for the initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission “in the coming weeks” and that it anticipates the process will be done in the latter half of this year. Eli Lilly said it has not decided on the IPO’s pricing or how many shares will be offered.

Eli Lilly also said wants to divest the rest of its ownership of Elanco.

In 2017, Eli Lilly’s animal-health unit brought in $3.09 billion in revenue, making up 13% of total revenue of $22.87 billion.

In Elil Lilly’s second quarter, the results of which it released Tuesday, the animal-health division brought in $792.1 million in revenue, up 0.9% from the comparable quarter a year ago.

Total revenue at the company increased by 9.1% to $6.36 billion, boosted by higher sales of its insulin Humalog and its diabetes treatments, Trulicity and Basaglar.

Lilly reported a second-quarter loss of $259.9 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with earnings of $1 billion, or 95 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding costs related to a pair of acquisitions, the company reported earnings of $1.50 a share, above the average analyst estimate of $1.30 on Thomson Reuters.

Shares of Eli Lilly, up 5.2% year to date, rose 3.5% to $91.95 in premarket trading.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

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