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Alcon To Move Global Headquarters To Geneva After Proposed Spinoff From Novartis

Alcon, the eye care unit of Swiss drug major Novartis (NVS), announced Tuesday its plans to locate its future global headquarters in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, following completion of its proposed spinoff from Novartis.

With all necessary approvals, the planned spinoff is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

Alcon's new global headquarters in Geneva will be the primary location for its senior corporate leadership and other corporate and commercial functions. It will be co-located with Alcon's Europe, Middle East, and Africa or EMEA regional office, which is already based in the city.

The listed Alcon company will be incorporated in Fribourg, where Alcon already has significant operations, alongside other key sites in Rotkreuz and Schaffhausen.

While final details are being finalized, Alcon could employ up to 700 in Switzerland post spin-off. Alcon's current global divisional headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, will remain a major operational, commercial, and innovation hub for the proposed standalone company.

Alcon corporate and EMEA employees will begin moving to the new Geneva location in 2019.

Earlier this year, Novartis announced its intention to spinoff Alcon into a separately-traded standalone company. The planned spinoff would enable Novartis and Alcon to focus fully on their respective growth strategies. As part of that announcement, Novartis disclosed that Alcon would be incorporated in Switzerland with listings planned on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

The transaction is expected to be tax neutral to Novartis, subject to the receipt of favorable opinions and rulings. Novartis intends to continue paying a strong and growing dividend in Swiss francs, building on the CHF 2.80 per share paid in March 2018. The proposed distribution ratio will be disclosed in due course.

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