Novartis downplays talk of selling stake in Roche
Novartis chief executive Joe Jimenez has played down talk that the company was looking to sell its one-third voting stake in crosstown rival Roche, and certainly not at its current market price.
There has been widespread speculation that pharmaceutical and healthcare firm Novartis could be heading for a change of strategic direction – including a possible sale of the Roche stake – following the appointment of a new chairman on Wednesday.
“It’s a strategic purchase,” Mr Jimenez said of the holding during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“What we mean . . . is the value of that stake is worth more than the market price today. Today, you couldn’t recreate a 30 per cent stake in a company like Roche by purchasing on the open market.” – (Reuters)