Alcon has completed its separation from Novartis and the company’s shares have commenced trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol ‘ALC’. The company states that its independence will enable “more focus and flexibility in pursuing its own growth strategy driven by rapid iterative innovation”.
In a statement, David Endicott, Chief Executive Officer of Alcon said, “For more than 70 years, Alcon has been dedicated to helping people see brilliantly and now, as an independent company, we are pursuing even more opportunities to further that mission. We are poised to achieve sustainable growth and create long-term shareholder value as a standalone company. We have a long history of industry firsts and, as a nimble medical device company, we are sharply focused on providing innovative products that meet the needs of our customers, patients and consumers.”
as a nimble medical device company, we are sharply focused on providing innovative products that meet the needs of our customers, patients and consumers
Alcon claims that it is the largest eye care device company in the world, with complementary businesses in surgical and vision care. It has a global presence in 74 countries and serves patients in more than 140. Last year it had sales of US$7.1 billion, including $4.0 billion in surgical – up 7% from the prior year – and $3.1 billion in Vision Care – up 3%.
Headquartered in Geneva, the company has maintained a presence in Switzerland for more than 40 years and it is where the company was incorporated prior to the Novartis acquisition. Alcon’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, will remain a major operational centre and innovation hub with a large base of employees.
Alcon has stated that it will continue its substantial Corporate Giving efforts, which in 2018 included $62 million in monetary and product donations. Through its charitable organisations, the Alcon Foundation and Alcon Cares, Alcon partners with hundreds of charitable organisations to help increase access to eye care, providing sight-restoring surgeries, eye exams and other services to people in underserved communities around the world. Alcon also sponsors hands-on and virtual eye care provider training and skills-transfer to strengthen the level of care, and supports its communities through charitable donations and associate volunteerism.
Mr Endicott said, “Demand for eye care is growing significantly as our population ages and people spend more time in front of screens and mobile devices. As we mark this new chapter in the life of our company, all of us at Alcon are committed to addressing the growing consumer need for improved vision and eye health and to expanding access to quality eye care all around the world.”
Under the terms of the separation, each Novartis shareholder or ADR (American Depositary Receipt) holder will receive one Alcon share for every five Novartis shares or ADRs they held as of the close of business on 1 April, 2019, the record date for the distribution.