Novartis started its first buyback program back in 1999. Since then, five share buy-back programs have been completed, with the repurchase of Novartis shares valued at CHF 19 billion in total. Novartis shares repurchased under the first program were not cancelled. However, Novartis shares repurchased under the other four programs were cancelled.
At the annual general meeting of shareholders of Novartis in February 2008, the shareholders of Novartis authorized the Novartis Board to launch the current sixth share buy-back program to repurchase Novartis shares up to a maximum amount of CHF 10 billion via a second trading line on the SIX.