Bär & Karrer Ltd. | View firm profile
Today, Novartis AG completed the spin-off of the Alcon
eye care devices business, and Alcon Inc. debuted as independent publicly
traded company. The Alcon shares were successfully listed on the SIX Swiss
Exchange Ltd. and the New York Stock Exchange. They are also included in the
Swiss Market Index (SMI), which comprises the 20 largest Swiss listed stocks.
The spin-off has been effected through a tax-neutral
dividend-in-kind distribution of Alcon shares to holders of Novartis shares and
ADRs that was previously approved by Novartis shareholders. It has been
preceded by the complete legal and structural separation of the Alcon business
into a standalone company through a series of transactions. Alcon is a global
leader in eye care and the largest eye care device company in the world, with
complementary businesses in surgical and vision care. In light of Alcon's
market capitalization of more than CHF 28bn (at close of trading on SIX Swiss Exchange), it was the largest spin-off and listing
on the SIX Swiss Exchange in a decade at least.
Bär & Karrer has acted as Swiss legal and tax
advisor to Novartis and Alcon in the planning and implementation of this
transaction. The team was led by Rolf Watter, Urs Kägi, Thomas U. Reutter and
Susanne Schreiber and included Vera Naegeli, Nadina Duss, Annina Hammer,
Frédéric Mancosu and Matthias Tanner (all Corporate and M&A), Daniel Raun
and Annette Weber (both Capital Markets), Christoph Suter, Lukas Scherer,
Matthias Bizzaro and Kerem Altay (all Tax), Roland Truffer and Alexander von
Jeinsen (both Financing), Markus Wang (IP) and Laura Widmer (Employment).