June 29, 2018 / 8:47 AM / 20 days ago

BRIEF-Novartis CEO Says Novartis To Continue To Build Eyecare Prescription Drugs Business After Alcon Spinoff

June 29 (Reuters) - Novartis AG:

* CEO SAYS WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD EYECARE DRUGS BUSINESS FOLLOWING ALCON SPINOFF

* CEO SAYS SHARE BUYBACK TO BE PARTIALLY FUNDED BY PROCEEDS FROM OTC JV SALE EARLIER THIS YEAR

* CEO SAYS SPINOFF ALLOWS TAX NEUTRAL TRANSACTION TO NOVARTIS, SPINOFF IS PREFERRED FORM FOR SEPARATIONS, SAYS PREMATURE TO COMMENT ON VALUATIONS FOR ALCON

* CEO SAYS DOES NOT INTEND TO ADJUST DIVIDEND AFTER ALCON SPINOFF

* CEO SAYS CONTINUES TO LOOK FOR VALUE CREATING TRANSACTIONS FOR M&A, SAYS VALUES REMAIN CHALLENGING

* CEO SAYS 100 PERCENT SPINOFF TO SHAREHOLDERS, SEPARATION OF THE TWO COMPANIES, PLANS NO RETENTION OF ANY STAKE BY NOVARTIS

* CEO SAYS BELIEVES SWITZERLAND AN OUTSTANDING BASE TO HOUSE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE COMPANIES, DOES NOT CHANGE COMMITMENT TO FORT WORTH SITE, BUT EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP AND OVERALL OPERATION TO BE RUN OUT OF SWITZERLAND

* CEO SAYS TOO EARLY TO COMMENT ON VALUATION OF ALCON, POTENTIAL FOR IMPACTS TO GOODWILL

* CEO SAYS NINE MONTHS NEEDED TO COMPLETE SPINOFF OF ALCON SUCCESSFULLY

* SAYS REMAINS COMMITTED TO BOLSTER SANDOZ AS GROWING LEADER IN BIOSIMILARS, GENERICS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by John Miller)

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