Alcon looking up after spin-out

The biggest medtech spin-out ever has, it seems, been a success. The 5% growth spurt Alcon enjoyed on its first day as an independent company, to its current value of SFr57.81, has given it a market cap of around SFr28bn ($28bn). While this is less than the $36bn market cap of the previous record holder, Siemens Healthineers, Alcon's IPO itself is larger because Healthineers was only a partial carve-out. Alcon was formerly the eyecare business of Novartis, whose shareholders received one Alcon share for every five Novartis shares or ADRs they own. With sales of around $7.1bn a year Alcon is now the second largest ophthalmology company in the world by medtech revenues, after the lens maker EssilorLuxottica. Novartis completed its buyout of Alcon in 2010 for around $50bn in total; the eyecare specialist endured underinvestment as part of the big pharma, leading to poor growth rates and loss of market share, including in the surgical business that makes up around 56% of its sales. The hope is that as an independent it will become more flexible and focused. Alcon is to have a dual listing, and has also started trading on the New York stock exchange.

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