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Novartis announced that it expects the closing of the transaction for 77% majority ownership of Alcon Inc in late third quarter or fourth quarter of 2010. A step towards closing is the nomination by Novartis of five directors to replace the five Nestlé nominated directors on the Alcon board of directors. The Novartis nominated directors combine extensive healthcare and management experience.
As previously agreed in the Purchase and Option Agreement and the Shareholders Agreement from April 6th, 2008 between Nestlé and Novartis, Alcon will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting of its shareholders to conditionally elect five persons nominated by Novartis to be members of the Alcon Board of Directors in replacement of the five persons previously nominated by Nestlé. The Alcon Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on August 16th, 2010 in Zug, Switzerland.
Novartis has taken note of the legal opinion referenced in the press release issued this week by the Alcon Independent Directors Committee. Novartis maintains that a director is not considered conflicted solely as a result of being nominated by a majority shareholder.