UPDATE 1-Novartis’ Vasella elected chairman at Alcon

* Alcon’s Independent Directors say no change to position

* Novartis wants to buy remaining 23 pct of Alcon

(Adds details, background)

ZURICH, Oct 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Novartis'(NOVN.VX: ) chairman
Daniel Vasella was elected board chairman of Alcon (ACL.N: ),
increasing the Swiss drugmaker’s grip of the U.S. eyecare
company as it tries to buy the stake it does not already own.

Alcon’s Independent Director’s Committee (IDC), which has
rebuffed Novartis’ offer to minority shareholders as too low,
said Vasella’s election would not change its own position.

“Alcon’s Organizational Regulations clearly require the
IDC’s prior recommendation before the Alcon Board of Directors
can decide on any transaction between Alcon and Novartis,” the
IDC said in a statement.

“The IDC will continue to take all available and appropriate
actions to ensure that this process is upheld and that the
rights of Alcon’s minority shareholders are protected,” it said.

Vasella replaces Cary Rayment, who will stay on the board as
Vice-Chairman.

Novartis has stuck to its offer to Alcon minority
shareholders of 2.8 Novartis shares for each Alcon share — a
bid Alcon’s IDC has repeatedly rebuffed as too low.

The recent rise in Novartis shares as well as a strong rise
in the Swiss franc means that its stock offer for the remaining
23 percent is now looking more attractive. [ID:nLDE69H0HY]
(Reporting by Sven Egenter; Editing by Louise Heavens)

UPDATE 1-Novartis’ Vasella elected chairman at Alcon