Novartis Takes Control Of Alcon

GENEVA (AP) -- Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG says it has completed its purchase of Nestle SA's 77 percent stake in eye care firm Alcon Inc. at a total cost of $38.7 billion.

Novartis says it bought the 52 percent still owned by Nestle for $28.3 billion.

The Basel-based company had already acquired 25 percent of Alcon for $10.4 billion in 2008.

Novartis reiterated Thursday its plans to buy the remaining 23 percent held by minority shareholders before merging with Alcon.

Some Alcon minority shareholders oppose the move, claiming they are being offered less per share than Novartis paid to Nestle.

Novartis shares were flat at 52.05 Swiss francs ($50.67) on the Zurich exchange.

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