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Novartis to close Alcon deal by year-end

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BASEL, Switzerland Novartis last week announced that it expects the closing of the transaction for 77% majority ownership of Alcon in late third quarter or fourth quarter of 2010.

Taking a step toward the closing, Novartis nominated five directors to replace the five Nestle nominated directors on the Alcon board. The nominees include:

  • Enrico Vanni, a chemical engineer who graduated from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, Switzerland and holds a PhD from the University of Lausanne. His background also includes an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Vanni managed the Geneva Office of McKinsey & Co. from 1988 to 2004. His consulting activities mostly covered companies in the pharmaceutical, consumer and finance sectors. He was head of the European pharmaceutical practice for McKinsey & Co. and served as member of the partner review committee of the firm. Since 2008, he has worked as an independent consultant and a member of several company boards of directors;
  • Norman Walker earned a degree in Business Studies at the University of Brighton, U.K., in 1975 and attended the Harvard International Senior Management Program in 1994. He started his professional career with Ford Motor Co. in London, where he held a number of positions in human resources management. In 1991, Walker joined Kraft Foods and held a number of leading HR positions in Germany, the United States and Switzerland. From 1998 to 2003, he served as the Head of Corporate Human Resources of the Novartis Group;
  • Paul Choffat has held a number of senior leadership and management roles across industries, including numerous years in the pharmaceutical business. He holds a J.D. from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and an M.B.A. from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He started his professional career with Nestle. From 2002 to April 2007, Choffat served as head of Novartis Consumer Health;
  • Urs Baerlocher earned his J.D. from the University of Basel and was admitted to the bar in 1970. After working as a tax lawyer, he joined Sandoz, Basel, Switzerland, in 1973. Baerlocher held numerous senior leadership roles, including head of legal and tax affairs of the Novartis Group, until his retirement in summer 2007;
  • Jacques Seydoux is the medical director and chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at the State Hospital of Jura. He graduated with an M.D. from the University of Berne, Switzerland, in 1979. Seydoux is a member of numerous professional associations, including VP of the Swiss National Obstetrics and Gynecology Society and a member of the North American Menopause Society.

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