June 29, 2018 / 5:17 AM / 9 months ago

Novartis to spin off Alcon, will buy back $5 bln in shares

ZURICH, June 29 (Reuters) - Novartis unveiled its plan to spin off all of its Alcon eye care devices business and launch a share buyback of up to $5 billion as the company sharpens its focus on prescription drugs, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday.

Novartis will hold a shareholder meeting next February to get approval for the spin off, which is due to be completed in the first half of next year. The share buyback is due to be completed by 2019. (Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill)

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