Read the Novartis / Alcon Fine Print

Includes: ACL, NSRGY, NVS
by: Derek Lowe

... especially when you're dealing with the Swiss. You'll have probably seen that Novartis (NYSE:NVS) is buying Alcon (NYSE:ACL). 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 (OTCPK:NSRGY) $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.