Alcon on April 9 will debut as an independent, publicly traded company as it completes 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. According to a news release from the company, 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, CEO 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.
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, where the company started, will remain a major operational center and innovation hub with a large base of employees.
In a news release, Alcon said it 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, according to the news release.
Members of the company’s executive leadership team, Board of Directors and Alcon associates will celebrate the milestone by ringing the opening bell at the SIX and NYSE on April 9.
“Demand for eye care is growing significantly as our population ages and people spend more time in front of screens and mobile devices,” said Endicott. “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.