Fake news? Novartis confirms it has no plans to sell Sandoz

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/milindri
GettyImages/milindri

Related tags: Time, Novartis

Novartis is considering divesting non-core and negative margin products but confirms it has no plans to place Sandoz “on the auction block.”

A Reuters report​ based on “people familiar with the matter” ​said recently that Novartis is preparing to auction off its US generic oral solid dose business.

But as is often the case, the rumoured sale was picked up by other media outlets and soon the story had resurfaced under the headline: “Novartis Could Put Sandoz on the Auction Block Within a Few Weeks.”

This is far from the truth, a spokesperson from Sandoz told in-Pharmatechnologist.

Sandoz is a $10bn global subsidiary of Swiss Pharma giant Novartis, and is itself made up of a number of business units.

Therefore the idea that Novartis is looking to auction off Sandoz (and for as little as $1.6bn as some media reports stated) is false, we were told.

However, the US generics business – which falls under the Sandoz brand – could be sold off, it was confirmed, as part of a strategy previously announced by Novartis.

While the firm was unable to comment directly on any sales speculation, it told us it is following a strategy to reshape its US business towards a more specialised and differentiated portfolio.

“As part of this ongoing process we are also looking at potentially divesting or discontinuing certain non-core or negative margin products.”

The statement is in line with what management said in its end-of-year financial call last month (transcript here​):

“Our energy is focused primarily of looking at the US oral solids business where it is a discrete business, it's a unique situation. There are significant pricing declines. At least in the medium term, we don't see a shift to that situation. So we are assessing how best to optimise that given that dynamic.”

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