GENEVA (AP) — Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG launched a major overhaul of its business Tuesday, unveiling a series of multibillion-dollar deals with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline PLC and the US’s Eli Lilly & Co. that heralds more restructuring in the fast-changing industry.
Joseph Jimenez, the CEO of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, said the deals with GSK and Eli Lilly reflect ‘‘a very dynamic health care environment’’ and would reduce overall sales at Novartis but boost its profit margins. He told reporters some 15,000 of its employees globally will be affected by the changes but that no one will be fired by Novartis— all employees whose units are being sold off will be transferred to the new owners.
‘‘The transactions mark a transformational moment for Novartis,’’ Jimenez said. ‘‘They also improve our financial strength, and are expected to add to our growth rates and margins immediately.’’
The deals unveiled Tuesday are the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions that have engulfed the industry of late and which, analysts said, could trigger some further activity in the months ahead.
All of Novartis’ deals with GSK were timed to close simultaneously. Novartis has agreed to buy GSK’s cancer-drug business for $14.5 billion, plus up to $1.5 billion more if certain milestones are met. And the Swiss company has agreed to sell most of its vaccines business to GSK for $7.1 billion, plus royalties, giving GSK better market position with Bexsero, a meningitis B vaccine.
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