Zoestis' CEO Juan Ramon Alaix said in an interview on CNBC's ' Squawk on the Street ' that his company was positioned well to be a public company, with a unique portfolio and strength in emerging markets.
"It's the right time" to be independent from Pfizer, he said. The performance of Zoetis, which was up over 20 percent immediately after trading opened, could wet the appetite for more companies to initial public offering in 2013.
In the U.S. IPO proceeds, excluding Facebook, fell 35 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Zoetis is considered to be the only publicly traded "pure play" on animal health and medicine, since its major competitors exist inside diversified pharmaceutical companies.
The offering for Zoetis, now a stand-alone company, comes as Pfizer continues divesting its non-pharmaceuticals divisions, which included the sale of nutrition business Nestle SA last April for $11.9 billion.
According to Reuters , Zoetis had annual sales of $4.2 billion in 2011 and is the largest player in the $22 billion animal health industry, selling vaccines, diagnostics, anti-infectives, and other medicines. Two-thirds of Zoetis sales are for livestock, with over 300 products sold in over 120 countries, according to the company.