Novartis To Sell 53.3 Mln Roche Shares To Roche For $20.7 Bln

Swiss drug major Novartis (NVS) has agreed to sell 53.3 million Roche bearer shares to Roche for a total consideration of $20.7 billion.

Novartis said it has been a shareholder of Roche since May, 2001 and currently holds 53.3 million bearer shares of Roche's common stock, representing approximately 33% of aggregate outstanding bearer shares. Novartis had acquired the stake between 2001 and 2003 for a total consideration of approximately $5 billion.

Novartis said Thursday it does not consider the financial investment in Roche as part of its core business and therefore not a strategic asset.

Novartis noted that it will report a gain from the sale of the stake in income from associated companies of approximately $14 billion, which will be core adjusted.

The transaction is subject to the approval by the shareholders of Roche, at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders of Roche to be held on November 26, 2021.

Meanwhile, Roche confirmed the outlook for the full year and expects a mid-single-digit sales growth at constant exchange rates. Core earnings per share growth at constant exchange rates is targeted to be broadly in line with sales growth. In addition, Roche aims at increasing the dividend in Swiss francs also for 2021.

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