Murphy, N.J. officials thrilled to have J&J’s billion-dollar spinoff put its HQ in Summit

Kenvue, soon-to-be spinoff of J&J’s Consumer Health brands, will be Fortune 100 company when IPO comes later this year

It’s the spinoff of a billion-dollar brand and a soon-to-be Fortune 100 company. And, as an added bonus, Kenvue is a company that didn’t require any incentives to put its global headquarters in New Jersey.

Put another way, the decision by Johnson & Johnson to make Summit the headquarters of Kenuve, its soon-to-be-spun-off Consumer Health brands, is perhaps even more than Gov. Phil Murphy envisioned when he began making his pitch to reenergize the state’s innovation economy.

In an SEC filing last week, J&J officials announced that Kenvue had entered into a long-term lease for a newly renovated office building and a newly constructed research & development building in Summit that — when completed — will encompass a total of approximately 290,000 square feet and serve as Kenvue’s new global corporate headquarters.

In addition to corporate office space, officials wrote that the campus will house laboratory space to principally support R&D.

Murphy obviously was thrilled by the news — and what it means for the state.

“Since the beginning of this administration, we have worked tirelessly to implement policies and initiatives to make New Jersey a hub for the world’s top companies to lay roots,” he told ROI-NJ. “This announcement is proof that our hard work is paying off.”

Kenvue, which will be anchored by brands such as Band-Aid, Tylenol, Neutrogena and Listerine, is expected to generate billions in revenue, operating in more than 100 countries.

Kenvue, which is currently headquartered in Skillman, will slowly make a transition to the 46-acre Summit East campus, located at 80-90 Morris Turnpike and owned by Onyx Equities.

It is expected to begin moving into the office building in 2025 and into the new R&D building in 2026, the filing said.

The impact of the announcement, however, will be felt now, according to Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

“Kenvue’s decision to locate its headquarters in Summit is great news for New Jersey’s economy and a huge win for Gov. Murphy’s economic strategy,” he said. “The governor was personally involved in making the sale here, and Kenvue’s decision is the latest of many signs of tremendous momentum in New Jersey’s economy.”

New Brunswick-based J&J has long been a corporate icon in the state, and it is unclear how much the company considered moving the Kenvue headquarters out of the state. There certainly would have been plenty of interest — and incentives — should it have wanted to go that route.

J&J did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One source, who was not authorized to speak on the subject, said the company had considered spots in Jersey City and New York City before deciding on Summit.

Debbie Hart, the CEO of BioNJ, said she is hopeful that J&J’s continued commitment to New Jersey will make other life sciences companies want to join them in the Garden State.

“The selection of New Jersey as the headquarters location for this important spinout by J&J supports the long and rich tradition of their presence in New Jersey and emphasizes all this state has to offer the industry,” she said.

“Kenvue’s presence will add to the already rich ecosystem supporting the health care continuum. We could not be more elated and look forward to supporting their work.”

In 2022, J&J’s Consumer Health segment generated revenue of $15 billion, which in and of itself would make Kenvue a Fortune 100 company. During the first quarter of 2023, the unit generated $3.8 billion in sales — a 7% year-to-year growth.

Kenvue’s IPO, expected later this year, is expected to open at $20 to $23 a share, according to the filing. The new company would be valued at approximately $40 billion at that share range.

Murphy feels its value to the state cannot be measured.

“For years, Johnson & Johnson has called New Jersey home — creating good-paying jobs and making invaluable contributions across our economy,” he said. “It is great to hear that Kenvue has chosen to be headquartered in Summit, and we look forward to the growth in innovation the company will bring to the community.”