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Deal To Purchase Novartis's $20.7 Billion Stake Approved By Roche Shareholders

Deal To Purchase Novartis's $20.7 Billion Stake Approved By Roche Shareholders
Roche shareholders voted with overwhelming majority on Friday to approve their shareholders' vote to approve the $20.7 billion deal for the purchase of Novartis's almost one-third voting stake, the Swiss drugmaker announced.
Roche organized an extraordinary general assembly to settle questions related to its plans to break up the two pharmaceutical businesses, both with their headquarters in Basel and connected by an investment for more than two years.
Shareholders ratified the audited annual financial statements for the statutory interim period of the company at 31 October 2021 by an overwhelming majority of 100.00 percent, Roche said.
They also supported the plan to end shares purchased 53.3 million shares purchased by the company, which was backed by a majority of 99.85 percent.
Thus the requirements of corporate law for the repurchase were fulfilled, Roche said. Close of transaction is anticipated to be completed in early December 2021.
"Today's resolutions of the Extraordinary General Meeting are in the best economic and strategic interest of Roche," declared Roche President Christoph Franz. "As a result, we will be even better positioned to make a contribution to the health of people around the world."
Novartis has agreed to offer 53.3 millions Roche bearer shares at $388.99 (356.93 Swiss francs) per share. This price that reflected the volume weighted average of Roche non-voting shares of equity over twenty trading days leading up to November. 2.
The purchase was subject to the approval of shareholders for the reduction in capital by cancellation of the shares repurchased as well as those interim financial reports that were prepared to support the transaction.
Novartis's involvement began in 2001 in 2001, when Swiss activist investor Martin Ebner, known for orchestrating the merger that led to the creation of UBS, the world's largest bank UBS and UBS, offered the Roche stake to its rival cross-town in frustration over the rejection of offers.
Roche Chairman Franz announced earlier this month that the agreement will give the company greater strategic flexibility, since Roche can now formulate plans without the need to get the consent of Novartis.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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