December 18, 2003



Novartis Keen On Merger With Roche

Pierre Landolt, president of the Sandoz Tamily Trust, feels that a merger between Novartis AG (NVS) and Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) will be a logical move. The Sandoz Family Trust currently holds a 3% stake in Novartis.

"The founding families of Roche are still against a merger. One day they might say however that a merger with Novartis is better than a merger with a U.S. or U.K. competitor", Pierre Landolt was said.

Novartis, which holds around a 30% stake in Roche, repeatedly voiced interest in the past to take over cross-town rival Roche. But sharp protests from the founding families, who still hold a majority stake in the pharmaceuticals company, so far buried any hopes of an imminent deal.

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