ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced it has completed the separation of its research-based pharmaceuticals business, which became AbbVie, a new independent biopharmaceutical company. AbbVie will begin trading independently on the New York Stock Exchange today under the symbol "ABBV." On Nov. 28, 2012, Abbott's board of directors declared a special dividend distribution of all outstanding shares of AbbVie common stock. For every 1 share of Abbott common shares held as of close of business on Dec. 12, 2012, Abbott shareholders received 1 share of AbbVie common stock on Jan. 1, 2013. Abbott announced in October 2011 that it was separating into two independent companies, as its businesses evolved into two different investment identities. AbbVie is a research-based specialty biopharmaceuticals company with a broad portfolio of medicines, including leadership in immunology and virology, and a pipeline of breakthrough therapies. Abbott is one of the largest science-based, diversified healthcare companies, with market-leading offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals. "We wish our colleagues at AbbVie continued success as they become part of a new, independent company that is already making a significant difference, focusing on highly specialized, market-leading therapies for some of the world's most difficult-to-treat diseases," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "Abbott has taken the most transformative action in its 125-year history," said Mr. White. "We have had enduring success precisely because of what we're doing now – reinventing ourselves for changing times and creating new ways to serve the millions of patients, customers, communities and shareholders who depend on us." Strength Through DiversityAbbott begins its 125 th year with approximately $22 billion in revenues generated throughout 150 countries and remains one of the largest and most far-reaching global healthcare companies, with diversity across technologies, businesses and geographies. The company is comprised of four businesses of roughly equal size – diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals. Abbott's businesses are all leaders in their respective fields and hold the top market positions across numerous categories. These businesses develop leading, science-based products that are meeting the needs of patients and consumers in the evolving global healthcare environment.