Alcon, the global leader in eye care dedicated to helping people see brilliantly, today announced its debut as an independent, publicly traded company and the completion of its separation from Novartis. The company’s shares begin trading today on the SIX Swiss Exchange and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “ALC.”
Alcon is the largest eye care device company in the world, with complementary businesses in Surgical and Vision Care. The company has a global presence in 74 countries and serves patients in more than 140, with fast-growing businesses in emerging markets. Alcon has the widest array of eye care offerings in the industry with products that can treat eye disorders at each stage of life.
“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,” said David Endicott, Chief Executive Officer of Alcon. “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.”
Eye care is an approximately $23 billion a year market, growing at roughly 4 percent annually. Last year, Alcon had sales of $7.1 billion, including $4.0 billion in Surgical – up 7 percent from the prior year – and $3.1 billion in Vision Care – up 3 percent.
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 April 1, 2019, the record date for the distribution.
As an independent company, Alcon will have more focus and flexibility in pursuing its own growth strategy driven by rapid iterative innovation. The company will have a distinct investment identity with a more efficient capital structure that will allow it to expand markets, enter promising adjacencies and introduce new business models. These benefits, combined with Alcon’s industry-leading customer relationships, favorably position the company to achieve sustainable growth.
Alcon is 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 center and innovation hub with a large base of employees.
Alcon will continue its substantial Corporate Giving efforts, which in 2018 included $62 million in monetary and product donations. Through its charitable organizations, the Alcon Foundation and Alcon Cares, Alcon partners with hundreds of charitable organizations 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.
Members of the company’s executive leadership team, Board of Directors and Alcon associates celebrated the milestone by ringing the opening bell at the SIX and NYSE on April 9.
Endicott continued: “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.”
The company launched a new global website that can be found at www.alcon.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that can generally be identified by words such as “commitment,” “may,” “look forward,” “estimates,” “projected,” “will,” “potential,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “believe,” “expect,” “intention,” “should,” “maintaining” or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding the potential outcome, or financial or other impact on Alcon or any of its businesses of the separation and spin-off from Novartis; or regarding potential future sales or earnings of Alcon or any of its businesses or potential shareholder returns; or by discussions of strategy, plans, expectations or intentions. You should not place undue reliance on these statements.
Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantee that Alcon will be able to realize any of the potential strategic benefits or opportunities as a result of the separation and spin-off. Nor can there be any guarantee that shareholders will achieve any particular level of shareholder returns. Nor can there be any guarantee that Alcon, or any of its businesses, will be commercially successful in the future, or achieve any particular credit rating or financial results. Nor can we guarantee the separation and spin-off will be successful.
In particular, our expectations could be affected by, among other things: uncertainties regarding the success of our separation and spin-off from Novartis, including our ability to establish the infrastructure needed to operate as a standalone company without significant management distraction or business disruption; and general political, economic and trade conditions, including uncertainties regarding the effects of ongoing instability in various parts of the world.
Some of these factors are discussed in more detail in Alcon’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 20-F, particularly under “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors”, “Item 4. Information on the Company” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects”. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. The statements in this announcement are as of the date of its filing. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update any information or forward-looking statements set out in this announcement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Alcon helps people see brilliantly. As the global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning more than seven decades, we offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our Surgical and Vision Care products touch the lives of more than 260 million people in over 140 countries each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors. Our more than 20,000 associates are enhancing the quality of life through innovative products, partnerships with eye care professionals and programs that advance access to quality eye care. Learn more at www.alcon.com.