Novartis, the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, has launched a new share buyback program, with plans to spend up to 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.90 billion) repurchasing its shares over the next three years. Shareholders approved rolling over the remaining authorization of 6.5 billion francs for buybacks at their AGM last week, taking the total amount to 10 billion francs.
The company has just completed the repurchase of 213 million of its shares in the period between March 2020 and March 10, 2023. This amounts to 8.9% of its shares, which have either been cancelled or will be proposed for cancellation at AGMs.
Novartis has a history of share buybacks and has said that it uses them to manage its capital structure and return excess capital to shareholders. The program will buy a maximum of 10% of its own stock over the period from its last Annual General Meeting, which took place on March 7, up to the AGM in 2026. Capital reductions of the registered shares repurchased under the scheme will be proposed at future AGMs, Novartis said.
Novartis has been steadily growing its business through acquisitions and divestitures. In 2018, the company acquired AveXis for $8.7 billion and announced its intention to spin off its Alcon eye care business. The Alcon spinoff was completed in April 2019, and the company has continued to make strategic acquisitions to bolster its portfolio.
Novartis is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with a market capitalization of around $230 billion. The company has a diverse portfolio of products, including pharmaceuticals, generics, biosimilars, and eye care. It is known for its oncology, cardiovascular, and respiratory products, as well as for its work in developing gene therapies.
The launch of the new share buyback program is a positive signal for Novartis investors, as it indicates the company’s confidence in its financial position and growth prospects. Novartis has a strong balance sheet and generates significant cash flow, allowing it to pursue growth opportunities while also returning capital to shareholders. The program is likely to provide support for the company’s share price and increase the value of shareholders’ investments.
In summary, Novartis has launched a new share buyback program worth $10.9 billion over the next three years. The program will buy a maximum of 10% of its own stock, and capital reductions of the registered shares repurchased under the scheme will be proposed at future AGMs. The launch of the program is a positive signal for investors, indicating the company’s confidence in its financial position and growth prospects.