Novartis (NYSE:NVS) said yesterday that it is considering selling its Alcon eye care business and will buy back up to $5 billion worth of shares over the next 12 months, in an effort to reorganize after a tough year.
The company’s profits dropped -11% to $936 million in the 3 months ended Dec. 31, while sales fell -2% to $12.32 billion.
Novartis bought Alcon from Nestle for $52 billion in 2010 under the leadership of former CEO & chairman Daniel Vasella. Alcon’s sales have struggled in recent years and the company has undergone changes to its leadership team. New division head Mike Ball has been charged with halting the company’s revenue slide in case the unit is sold.