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Alcon, a world leader in ophthalmology, moves to Geneva its new headquarters for EMEA

11/11/2008
The American company Alcon, a world leader in ophthalmology, opens today its new Geneva headquarters for Europe, Middle East and Africa in the presence of Pierre-François Unger, Minister of Economy and Health for the Canton of Geneva.
Alcon chose Geneva among several candidate cities for its great investment potential in order to boost its activities and set up its new headquarters for Europe, Middle East and Africa. About thirty people (probably sixty within three or four years) already work in the brand new offices located on 58 Louis Casai Avenue. The newly recruited employees also come from other branches of the group, such as Hünenberg (Switzerland) and Barcelona (Spain) or from its global headquarters based in Fort Worth (USA).The Geneva office will coordinate all Alcon's marketing and management activities in the EMEA area. Furthermore, the International Research & Development Coordination will be carried out in Geneva. Highly qualified staff, in particular graduates from high schools and universities, is currently being recruited in the Lake Geneva Region.According to Thierry Clidière, President of Alcon Europe, Middle East and Africa, "authorities in Geneva and Fribourg have played a very important role in facilitating the settlement of the group's management and marketing office in Geneva, and its global administrative activities in Fribourg. The support of these two cantons have been decisive. Cary Rayment, President and CEO of the group, declared that the opening of Alcon's new headquarters in Geneva "has been a red-letter day for the company, which was eager to grab the opportunity for consolidating its marketing and management activities in one single and strategic European area. We'll remain in Geneva for long while developing world-wide our activities and offering the best products and services in ophthalmology."Pierre-François Unger, Minister of Economy and Health for the Canton of Geneva, welcomed Alcon with enthusiasm. "This decision-making will allow Alcon's leaders to reinforce Geneva's excellent reputation in High Technology, Biotechnology and Healthcare Sciences. I am pleased to see that our region, now considered as an international reference pole in these leading sectors, can rely on a pool of specialists and skilled labor. The presence of international organizations, one of whom is the World Health Organization (WHO), shows how evident this choice is."Daniel Loeffler, Director ad interim, underlines that "in accordance with its mission, the Geneva Economic Development Office actively supported Alcon, a world leader in ophthalmology, active in more than 180 countries with branch offices in over 75 countries. Our Office assisted the company in its setting up, administrative procedures, offices-hunting, and contacts with local research institutes based in Geneva and Fribourg.We are very pleased about Alcon's successful setting up that will certainly leave the way open to other great accomplishments".
Alcon At-a-GlanceFounded in 1947, Alcon has become the world’s most profitable eye-care company. With operations in 75 countries, the team is constituted of nearly 15,000 dedicated employees.Alcon sells a range of pharmaceutical, surgical and consumer eye-care products used to treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye.. As of 2007, sales reached US$ 5.6 billion. The company still builds its position as the worldwide leader by continuing to advance treatments for diseases and to offer the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of ophthalmic surgical products, consumer vision care product line and contact lens care products.Nestlé still owns approximately 75 percent of the company but Novartis would pay the company for a 25 percent stake in Alcon, in the first step of a deal that could become a full acquisition. At the moment, Novartis is acquiring an exclusive option to acquire Nestlé’s remaining 52 percent stake between 2010 and 2011 when the option becomes available.
ContactsMr Daniel LoefflerDirector ad interim of the Economic Development OfficeDepartment of Economy and Health Tel: +41 (0)22 388 34 34 Email: daniel.loeffler@etat.ge.ch  Fax: +41 (0)22 388 31 99
Mr Luc GiacobinoAssociatep'g+a communication Mob. + (0)79 626 57 86Tel. +41 (0)22 787 07 56Email : lg@pga-communcation
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