By Mauro Orru

 

Novartis AG is planning to spin off its generics-and-biosimilars division Sandoz and list it as a standalone company in Switzerland, a move that will enable Novartis to focus on innovative medicines.

The Swiss pharmaceutical company said Thursday that Sandoz would be based in Switzerland and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, with an American depositary receipt program in the U.S.

"A spinoff would allow our shareholders to benefit from the potential future successes of a more focused Novartis and a standalone Sandoz, and would offer differentiated and clear investment theses for the individual businesses," Joerg Reinhardt, chairman of Novartis's board of directors, said.

Sandoz has a strong presence in Europe as well as the U.S. It generated $9.6 billion in sales last year. The company would become the top public European generics company, Mr. Reinhardt said.

Novartis expects to complete the process in the second half of 2023.

"For Novartis, the separation of Sandoz would further support our strategy of building a focused innovative medicines company, with depth in five core therapeutic areas, and strength in technology platforms," Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 25, 2022 01:34 ET (05:34 GMT)

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