The Novartis (NVS) buyout of Alcon in came with a final price tag of $52 billion — which came in bits and pieces, including a $39 billion chunk in 2010 — and gave the Swiss company control of an outstanding eye-care portfolio. While nothing under the Alcon umbrella was considered to be a budding “blockbuster” that the biopharma industry loves to aim for, it was a solid, reliable business.
The question is, however, was that “outstanding eye-care portfolio” worth the frothy price tag? As it turns out, probably not.
In 2009, Alcon’s sales reached only $6.5 billion, though the company impressively turned $2 billion of that into a profit that year. Alcon’s sales grew to a whopping $10.2 billion last year, but $52 billion is still a lot to pay for those results.