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January 5, 2010
Always Read the Fine Print
. . .especially when you're dealing with the Swiss. You'll have probably seen that Novartis is buying Alcon. But what price they're buying them at depends on who you are.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Novartis, who already had 25% of Alcon's stock, is paying majority shareholder Nestlé $180/share for their 52% stake in the company. Minority shareholders - that is, all the rest of them - are being offered $153. Some of these folks have paid up over $160/share recently, anticipating such a deal, but under Swiss law, there's not a thing that they can do about it. . .
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