Drugmaker Novartis aims to dispose of a 13.5 billion Swiss franc ($13.8 billion) stake in its local rival Roche and has already hired banks to support the selling process, a Swiss paper reported on Sunday.
The world’s biggest prescription drugmaker started building up the stake – worth 33 percent of Roche’s voting shares – as a basis for a possible merger more than a decade ago, but the plan never materialized.
Novartis plans to sell the stake in a so-called order book process, having banks collect purchase offers within a predefined price range from selected investors, weekly Sonntagszeitung said, citing board and banking sources.
A Novartis spokesman declined to comment on the report.
By Kirsti Knolle
The company plans to pour more than $500 million in additional funds into its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Raheen, Limerick County, the country’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) said. The new funding brings the company’s total investment in the site to 927 million euros ($1 billion).
“If in 2005 someone told you that two-thirds of our industry would be driven on the R&D side by emerging biopharma—it would be unthinkable. If one were to project that trend forward, what it would suggest is that we could have a day when we do this talk, say in 2027 or 2028, where 80% of the industry’s pipeline is coming from emerging companies.”
The German healthcare and agrochemicals giant told Reuters that in future its pharma pipeline will focus on cardiovascular disease, neurology, rare diseases and immunology, while de-emphasizing women’s health, a field it first focused on with the acquisition of the former women’s health specialist Schering in 2006.