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Alcon spinoffs from Novartis in first half of 2019

Novartis’s eye care division Alcon, on Tuesday has its first Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts as a tax-neutral, 100% spinoff of the Alcon business.

Novartis said that, if the transaction proceeds, shares in Alcon Inc. will be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “ALC”.

Mike Ball, Chairman-designate of Alcon, said: “Alcon has been a leader in the ophthalmic industry for over 70 years and is dedicated to providing innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people see better. More recently, Alcon has executed a turnaround plan that has reinvigorated its pipeline, strengthened its customer relationships, and increased investments in promotion, capital and systems while developing a nimble medical device culture. These actions have strengthened its foundation and positioned Alcon well to become a standalone company.” 

David Endicott, CEO of Alcon, said: “As the leading eye care devices company in the world, with $6.8 billion in sales in 2017, we are uniquely positioned to succeed as a standalone organization. Our legacy of industry firsts and advancements, our leading positions in the markets we operate in and our substantial investment in innovation position us well for the future. We look forward to sharing our strategy, vision and financial goals with investors and analysts at our Capital Markets Day events.”

Alcon sees growth opportunities in the $23 billion eye care devices market, as it will showcase its leading ocular solutions for refractive disorders, presbyopia, dry eye, cataracts and retinal diseases.

Post-spinoff, Alcon is targeting an investment grade credit rating and will have a financial framework focused on sales growth, operational excellence and free cash flow generation. Priorities will include investment in organic growth and R&D, a disciplined focus on “bolt-on” acquisition, licensing and collaboration opportunities, and returns to shareholders with Alcon expecting to pay a regular cash dividend from 2020.

Novartis expects to complete the spinoff in the first half of 2019.

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