Novartis Plans New $15 Bln Share Buyback To Be Executed By 2023-end

Swiss drug maker Novartis (NVS) announced Thursday that it will initiate a share buyback of up to $15 billion to be executed by the end of 2023, highlighting confidence in top line growth and deep pipeline.

The company further said an additional 10 billion Swiss francs buyback authority will be sought at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on March 4, 2022. This is to cover the amount exceeding the 8.8 billion francs still available under the existing shareholder authority granted in 2021.

The latest buyback is funded through the proceeds from the recent sale of 53.3 million Roche bearer shares.

The share buy-back will be executed on the 2nd trading line, is expected to commence in the coming days and to conclude by the end of 2023.

Novartis will provide further information on the growing dividend and growth outlook at the company's full year 2021 results on February 2nd, 2022.

The company said sales expected to grow 4%+ CAGR through 2026 and up to 20 new assets with significant sales potential set to potentially be approved by 2026, to fuel further growth through 2030 and beyond.

The company said, "With strong operational performance, prospects for earnings growth and the proceeds from the recent sale of the Roche stake, Novartis retains the flexibility to return value to shareholders through the planned USD 15bn share buyback, without compromising the company's capacity for value-creating bolt-on M&A, whilst providing a strong, growing dividend and reinvesting in the business."

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