The moniker is a combination of Baxter and the Latin-based ‘alta,’ which means ‘high’ or ‘profound, according to Baxter Bioscience president Ludwig Hantson, who will take Baxalta’s corner office when the company launches next year.
"The naming of Baxalta is the latest milestone on our journey to becoming a separate, independent company," Hantson said in prepared remarks. "The name Baxalta celebrates and sustains Baxter’s heritage as an innovator with a legacy of leadership by incorporating the Baxter name and coupling it with ‘alta,’ which derives from altus, Latin for ‘high’ or ‘profound.’ Both companies share a deep commitment to meeting the needs of current and future patients, which will continue to inspire us going forward."
Baxalta will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BXLT when it goes live mid-2015, according to the press release. The company will take with it about $6 billion in global revenues in treatments for rare and chronic diseases.
Both companies will keep their headquarters in northern Illinois, although rumors have been swirling that Baxter is in the market for a facility in Cambridge, Mass.
Baxter has said that it hopes the spinout will create a pair of "well-capitalized independent companies with strong balance sheets, investment grade profiles, and disciplined approaches to capital allocation."
The move continues a trend among diversified healthcare conglomerates. In 2011, Abbott announced its plans for a similar split, carving out its pharma operation as a new, publicly traded company named AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV). Later in 2011 Covidien said it would also divest its own pharmaceuticals division as Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK). Late last year, Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) shares hit a 52-week high on the news of its plan to spin out its medical device and health products division as a separate public company called K-C Health Care.