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Kimberly-Clark pursues spinoff of health care business

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Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex tissues, said its board authorized a potential spin-off of its health care business, sending its shares up 6 percent in extended trading.

The company said the move would enable it to focus on its consumer and K-C professional brands.

Kimberly-Clark said Robert Abernathy, currently group president, Europe, global nonwovens and continuous improvement and sustainability, will become chief executive of the new health care company if its spun off.

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The company said it expects to make a final recommendation regarding in the next several months. If the spin-off is approved, the transaction would be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Morgan Stanley has been retained by the company in pursuit of the spin-off.

Kimberly-Clark's health care business sells surgical and infection prevention products for the operating room, as well as medical devices. It posted net sales of $1.6 billion in 2012.

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The company's shares were trading at $116.60 after markets closed. They had closed at $109.71 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. (Click here for the latest quote.)

By Reuters

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