Novartis to buy majority of eyecare company from Nestlé
January 4, 2010
Novartis will purchase Nestlé’s majority stake in the eye-care company Alcon for $28.1 billion, raising its own stake to 77 percent. The drugmaker is pushing further into the eye-care industry, where it hopes to capitalize on Alcon’s surgical, pharmaceutical and consumer eye-care business lines, which together reported $6.3 billion in sales in 2008. Novartis already sells contact lenses and eye disease treatments and says that with the merger, the combined company would have a product line covering 70 percent of the eye-care sector. The purchase will be financed with capital reserves and debt issues, and Novartis expects the deal to close in the second half of 2010, pending regulatory approval.