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Novartis Doesn’t Rule Out Running Alcon With 77% Stake, FT Says

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Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG hasn’t ruled out operating Alcon Inc. with its existing 77 percent stake as minority investors seek an improved offer for the outstanding shares, the Financial Times reported, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez.

“The intention is to have 100 percent,” Jimenez said, according to the FT. “But Nestle owned 77 percent and the company was run very successfully for many years, so we have not ruled that out.”

The company’s strong cash flow means it will have paid off the $50 billion it spent on buying Alcon in four years, Jimenez said, which means Novartis could be in a position to seek further acquisitions, the FT reported.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Blanche Gatt in London at bgatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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