Novartis announces divestiture of its blood transfusion diagnostics unit to Grifols

Spain-based Grifols to acquire Novartis blood transfusion diagnostics unit for USD 1.675 billion

Divestiture further enhances Novartis focus on strategic businesses

Basel, November 11, 2013 – Novartis announced a definitive agreement to divest its blood transfusion diagnostics unit to Grifols for USD 1.675 billion. This transaction, requiring customary regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.

“The sale of the Novartis blood transfusion diagnostics unit enables us to focus more sharply on our strategic businesses while providing Grifols with a platform for global expansion,” said Joseph Jimenez CEO of Novartis. “I am especially pleased that the agreement with Grifols provides our associates with an opportunity to join a company that will focus on growing this business aggressively.”

Acquired in 2006 as part of Chiron, the blood transfusion diagnostics unit has formed part of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. The blood transfusion diagnostics unit is dedicated to increasing transfusion safety worldwide with nucleic acid testing, blood testing products and immunoassay reagents that detect infectious disease. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, its net sales in 2012 were approximately USD 565 million. Not included in the sale is the Novartis companion diagnostics unit that is integrated into the pharmaceuticals business, nor the Genoptix business, as these are closely linked to the pharmaceuticals pipeline.

Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Grifols is the world’s third largest producer of plasma-derived therapies.

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by words such as “to divest,” “to acquire,” “strategic,” “requiring customary regulatory approvals,” “expected,” “opportunity,” “will,” “dedicated,” “pipeline,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding the potential completion of the divestiture of the Novartis blood transfusion diagnostics unit, or regarding potential future sales or earnings of the Novartis Group and any potential strategic benefits, synergies or opportunities as a result of the divestiture. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the proposed divestiture will be completed in the expected form or within the expected time frame or at all. Nor can there be any guarantee that Novartis will be able to realize any of the potential strategic benefits, synergies or opportunities as a result of the divestiture. Neither can there be any guarantee that Novartis will achieve any particular future financial results in the future. In particular, management’s expectations could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally, including an unexpected failure to obtain necessary government approvals for the transaction, or unexpected delays in obtaining such approvals; the potential that the potential strategic benefits, synergies or opportunities expected from the transaction may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; general economic and industry conditions, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 133,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE: Novartis