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Novartis unit Sandoz set to start trading after completing spinoff

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Novartis said in August that it plans to spin off its generics unit Sandoz to sharpen its focus on its patented prescription medicines.

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Novartis has completed the spinoff of its generics and biosimilars business Sandoz, which is set to debut trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange on Wednesday.

The Swiss drugmaker initially announced intentions to spin off the business in August, offering stakeholders one Sandoz share for every five Novartis shares via a dividend-in-kind distribution.

Narasimhan told CNBC that the company had accelerated its efforts over the last six years to “focus Novartis as a pure play innovative medicines company.”

Pure play companies refer to entities that target a single product or industry sector.

“Over the last six years, we’ve done over $100 billion of transactions. We exited consumer health to create one of the largest consumer health companies, exited Alcon in the largest public market spin in European capital markets, we exited our Roche stake,” Narasimhan told CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum.

“Now we spin [off] Sandoz, and what is left now is really where I think Novartis is best suited to succeed in the long run — a pure play innovative medicines company focused on bringing R&D efforts and the new medicines we create to markets around the world.”

Novartis also reiterated its full-year guidance, with sales expected to grow in a high single-digit percentage and with core operating income set to grow in the low double digits to mid-teens.

In a statement alongside the Wednesday announcement, Narasimhan said this was a “truly historic moment for Novartis and Sandoz” as they begin life as independent companies.

“With several consecutive quarters of sales growth, Sandoz starts out from a position of strength as a global leader in Generics and Biosimilars, and I am confident they are poised to deepen their impact on patients and society,” he added.

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