Novartis has successfully spun off Sandoz, its Generics and Biosimilars business, to create an independent company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange as "SDZ."
The completed spin-off, equipped with a pipeline containing over 15 biosimilar molecules, will establish the largest generics company in Europe in terms of sales.
This strategic move allows Novartis to focus entirely on "pure play, innovative medicines." Part of a plan unveiled in 2022, Novartis' transformation includes a move to four core therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, renal and metabolic, immunology, neuroscience, and oncology.
Susurrant gossip of a potential spin-off first began in 2021, when CEO Vas Narasimhan hinted that the company had begun a strategic review of Sandoz to decide if it was still a good fit with the company’s long-term growth plans. The long-swirling rumors weren't confirmed until August 2023, when Novartis officially announced its intention to separate Sandoz. All the while, the drugmaker has reiterated it is "confident that the spin-off is in the best interests of shareholders, creating a European champion and a global leader in generics and biosimilars, and a more focused Novartis."
In its debut as an independent entity, Sandoz commenced trading at 24 Swiss francs, resulting in an initial market capitalization of approximately $12 billion during the early trading session.