Novartis initiates $5B share buyback program, Alcon spinoff

Friday, 29. June 2018 08:08

Swiss drugmaker Novartis announced on Friday it is initiating a buyback of shares worth up to $5 billion which is planned to be executed by the end of 2019. The plan is to be financed primarily through proceeds from the $13 billion sale of the consumer health joint venture stake to GSK earlier this year, the company stated.

Additionally, the pharmaceutical giant announced it plans to spinoff Alcon, its eye care division into a distinct publicly-traded company. The transaction is expected to be worth as much as $25 billion, but its completion will be subject to general market conditions, tax rulings and opinions, final Board of Directors endorsement and shareholder approval, the company stated.

Meanwhile, Novartis new chief executive Vas Narasimhan said that the company continues to "execute our strategy to focus Novartis as a leading medicines company" with this latest announcement. "Alcon has returned to a position of strength and it is time to give the business more flexibility to pursue its own growth strategy as the world's leading eye care devices company," the CEO stated.

Related Links: GlaxoSmithKline PLCNovartis AG
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Breaking the News / FH