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Novartis takeover of Alcon complete

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has concluded its long-awaited buyout of the remainder of the Alcon eye care group for $12.9 billion (SFr12.4 billion).

Novartis has been trying to clinch 100 per cent ownership in Alcon since the start of the year.

However, the Swiss company’s original all-paper offer of 2.8 Novartis shares for each Alcon share met stiff resistance from Alcon's Independent Director Committee (IDC), which repeatedly dismissed it as "grossly inadequate".

The merger will now include up to 2.8 Novartis shares and, if necessary, be topped up with cash to ensure that each Alcon shareholder gets $168 per Alcon share, Novartis said on Wednesday.

Alcon is the dominant player in the multibillion-dollar intraocular lens market and is also number one in treating cataracts - an area that is set to benefit from ageing populations.

The Basel-based group is hoping the Alcon deal, worth $51.6 billion in total, will help it diversify and protect it against patent loss on big selling medicines such as its blood pressure drug Diovan.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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