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Nestlé's Alcom buys Summit

Nestlé headquarters in Vevey

(Keystone)

The Swiss food giant Nestlé has announced that its pharmaceutical subsidiary, Alcon, is to buy an American group involved in ophthalmic laser systems for some $900 million.

Nestlé said the merger agreement with Massachusetts-based Summit would allow Alcon to "swiftly and decisively enter the domain of refractive surgery, designed correct common vision disorders such as nearsightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism".

Alcon is involved in researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing ophthalmic products. It was founded in Texas and employs more than 10,000 people globally.

Both boards of directors agreed the deal, and Alcon is set to acquire the group for 19 dollars per share in cash. It expects to start a tender offer for outstanding shares by June 5.

A statement issued by Nestlé said, "any shares not purchased in the offer would be acquired for the same price in cash in a second-step merger". The appropriate regulatory bodies must still approve the offer and the merger.

swissinfo and agencies

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