Healthcare giant Novartis and Nestle in $39bn Alcon deal

07-04-2008

Healthcare giant Novartis and Nestle in $39bn Alcon deal
Novartis is to spend $39 billion (£19.6 billion) as part of a two-step takeover big of Nestle's controlling stake in eye care company Alcon.

The pharmaceutical giant will purchase a 25 per cent stake in Alcon from Nestle for $11 billion (£5.5 billion), with the deal set for completion in the latter half of 2008.

This reflects a price of $143.18 (£71.98) per share as based on Alcon's volume-weighted average share price between January 7th and April 4th 2008.

Food and beverage conglomerate Nestle has the right to require Novartis to purchase Nestle's remaining 52 per cent stake in Alcon for around $28 billion (£14 billion) between January 2010 and July 2011.

The second step is based on a share price of $181 (£91).

The deal sees Novartis expanding its healthcare portfolio to include non-traditional products such as eye care, preventative vaccines and low-cost generics.

"This acquisition furthers our strategy of accessing high-growth segments of the healthcare market while balancing inherent risks. The strategic fit of Alcon and Novartis is excellent with our complementary product portfolios and research and development synergie," said Dr Daniel Vasella, chairman and chief executive of Novartis.

"Eye care will continue to grow dynamically as there is a growing unmet medical need driven primarily by the world's aging population.

"The margins are higher than our pharma business and are obviously very attractive."

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