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Novartis initiates buyout of Speedel


BASEL, Switzerland Novartis has purchased a 51.7 percent stake in Swiss pharmaceutical company Speedel Holding, Novartis announced Thursday.

This adds to the 9.7 percent stake in Speedel that it already had, bringing the total to 61.4 percent. Novartis plans to buy the remaining shares in Speedel through a mandatory public tender offer. The Basel, Switzerland-based company expects the full acquisition to cost about $880 million.

“This step is a natural development in our collaboration, one that has created a successful breakthrough approach to helping patients with cardiovascular disease,” Novartis chief executive officer Joseph Jimenez said.

The acquisition will help Novartis speed up development of Tekturna, a medication for high blood pressure known generically as aliskiren that the Food and Drug Administration approved last year, Jimenez said.

Novartis shares were up by 0.87 percent, at $58.08, on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

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