The Swiss Pharma giant Novartis AG this morning acquired the remaining outstanding shares of the World’s biggest eye care company, the US based Alcon for $12.4 billion (£8.2 billion). The Basel based company in the end paid more than $40 billion for the entire deal. In January, it had acquired 77 percent of Alcon for $28.1 billion.
The deal was finalised after the company agreed to pay an additional $168 to its original offer of 2.8 shares in exchange for each Alcon share. Alcon shareholders had previously rejected the offer of 2.8 shares as ‘inadequate’.
The deal is supposed to be completed by the middle of next year. The entire process started in 2008 when Novartis had offered to buy 77 percent of shares from Nestle with the option of buying remaining shares later. Novartis is also expected to initiate a $10.3 billion share buy-back program, which will enhance shareholder value further. Novartis is now set to become the world leader in eye-care, a crucial market as the world population ages.
Karl-Heinz Koch, an analyst at Swiss brokers Helvea said: “The announcement removes uncertainty around this transaction which has weighed heavily on the Novartis share price in recent months”.
“This together with the re-activation of the share buyback programme should support the Novartis share price”, he added hoping that Novartis prices will not slide after the announcement.
Alcon also has a presence in the contact lens disinfecting solutions segment as well as in the intraocular lenses segment.