By Sarah Sloat 

Novartis AG and Roche Holding AG said Thursday that the Swiss pharmaceutical companies have agreed for Novartis to sell its holding of Roche bearer shares to Roche for a total consideration of $20.7 billion.

Novartis said it expects to report a gain from the transaction of approximately $14 billion.

The companies said the purchase would be debt-financed by Roche. It plans to cancel the shares it acquires from Novartis, raising its free float to 24.9% from 16.6% currently.

Novartis has held Roche shares since 2001 and currently holds 53.3 million bearer shares of Roche's common stock, about 33% of aggregate outstanding bearer shares. Novartis acquired the stake between 2001 and 2003 for a total of about $5 billion as a long-term investment.

"I am convinced that the envisaged transaction is in the best interest of Roche and the holders of Roche equity securities from a strategic and economic perspective," Christoph Franz, Roche's chairman of the board of directors, said.


Write to Sarah Sloat at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 04, 2021 02:48 ET (06:48 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Historical Stock Chart
From Dec 2021 to Jan 2022 Click Here for more Roche (QX) Charts.
Historical Stock Chart
From Jan 2021 to Jan 2022 Click Here for more Roche (QX) Charts.