PHARMACY

Novartis completes Alcon spin-off

BY Sandra Levy

Novartis announced that it has completed the spin-off of its Alcon eye care devices business.

Completed through a dividend-in-kind distribution to holders of Novartis shares and American Depositary Receipts, or ADRs, each holder will receive 1 Alcon share for every 5 Novartis shares or ADRs held on April 8, 2019, at the close of business.

“The successful execution of the Alcon spin-off allows Novartis to fully focus its capital allocation and management attention on medicines. The spin-off gives Novartis a financial profile closer to its pharmaceutical industry peers, including higher group margins. As a focused medicines company, Novartis is well-positioned for sustained top- and bottom-line growth and plans to improve Innovative Medicines core margins into the mid-30s by 2022,” the company said.

Novartis expects to launch 10 potential blockbusters in the next two years and an additional 20 potential blockbusters in the future. Of these potential launches, four are planned in 2019, and include brolucizumab (RTH258).

RTH258 is part of the leading ophthalmology pharmaceuticals business retained by Novartis, with sales of $4.6 billion and a pipeline of potential novel treatments for presbyopia, dry eye and genetic diseases.

“This is an incredibly exciting day for both Novartis and Alcon. Alcon has demonstrated consistent growth, and is coming to market from a position of strength. We wish them the very best for the future. At Novartis, we continue to reimagine ourselves as a leading medicines company powered by breakthrough medicines, data science and advanced therapy platforms. We are well positioned for the future and I am excited for our associates, our investors, and most importantly for patients,” Novartis CEO, Vas Narasimhan said.

Shares in Alcon will be listed and commence trading today under the symbol “ALC” on the SIX Swiss Exchange, SIX from 09:00 CET and on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYS from 09:30 EST. Shares of Novartis will continue to trade on the SIX under the symbol “NOVN” and Novartis ADRs will continue to trade on the NYSE under the symbol “NVS”.

Novartis plans to provide more information on its strategic priorities and prospects to investors and analysts at its annual Meet Novartis Management event in Cambridge, Mass. set for May 22-23, 2019.

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