Novartis Completes Purchase of Minority Interest in AlconHUENENBERG, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 8, 2008 - Novartis AG and Nestle S.A. announced today that they have completed the first step purchase and sale of 74 million shares of Alcon, Inc. (NYSE: ACL) common stock currently owned by Nestle pursuant to the agreement dated April 6, 2008 between Novartis and Nestle. With the completion of the first step transaction, Nestle remains Alcon's majority shareholder with approximately 52% of Alcon's issued capital and Novartis now owns a minority stake in Alcon equal to approximately 24.85% of Alcon's issued capital.
As a result of Novartis' minority investment in Alcon, the Alcon board of directors expands from eight to ten directors. James Singh, Nestle's executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Daniel Vasella, M.D., Novartis' chairman and chief executive officer, are the new Alcon directors. The expansion of the board and the election of Singh and Vasella were approved by shareholders at Alcon's 2008 annual general meeting.
In addition to this minority investment, the April 6, 2008 agreement provides Novartis with a call option to purchase Nestle's remaining Alcon common shares. The agreement also provides Nestle with a put option to sell its remaining Alcon common shares to Novartis. These options commence on January 1, 2010 and expire on July 31, 2011. If either of these options are exercised, and subject to the agreement's closing conditions (including regulatory approval), Novartis would become the majority shareholder of Alcon with approximately 77% of its issued shares.
Alcon, Inc. is the world's leading eye care company, with sales of approximately $5.6 billion in 2007. Alcon, which has been dedicated to the ophthalmic industry for 60 years, researches, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact lens care solutions and other vision care products that treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye. Alcon's majority shareholder is Nestle, S.A., the world's largest food company.
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Doug MacHatton, 800-400-8599
Investor Relations and Strategic Communications
Posted: July 2008