Novartis said its net income for the second quarter of the year was USD 7.8 billion, including a USD 5.7 billion net gain from the sale of our stake in the GSK consumer healthcare joint venture
Our long-term strategy is to focus Novartis as a leading medicines company powered by data and digital.
We reimagine medicine to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need and find new ways to deliver them to people worldwide. We continue to execute this strategy by pursuing 5 priorities: operational execution, breakthrough innovation, data and digital leadership, restoring our reputation to be a trusted stakeholder in society, and the transformation of our culture.
During the second quarter, we took actions that reflect this strategy and our capital allocation priorities. Novartis concluded the strategic review of Alcon, determining that a proposed 100% spinoff is in the best interest of shareholders and consistent with the Novartis strategy of focusing as a leading medicines company. The planned spinoff would create the world leading eye care device company.
Completion of the transaction is subject to general market conditions, tax rulings and opinions, final Board of Directors endorsement and shareholder approval at the 2019 AGM in line with Swiss corporate law. The transaction is expected to be tax neutral to Novartis. Mike Ball has become Chairman-designate, Alcon COO David Endicott took over as Alcon CEO on July 1st.
During the second quarter we also completed the sale of our stake in the GSK consumer healthcare joint venture for USD 13 billion. The proceeds are being deployed towards the AveXis acquisition, completed in the quarter, and the announced share buyback of up to USD 5 billion. Novartis intends to continue paying a strong and growing dividend in Swiss francs, with no adjustment for the intended 100% spinoff of Alcon. These actions are consistent with our capital allocation strategy, and the dividend policy and share buyback highlights our confidence in topline growth and margin expansion.
Novartis continues its long-term journey to rebuild trust with society and transform its culture. Strong actions have been taken this year to strengthen our organization including adding the Ethics, Risk and Compliance Officer to the executive committee, rolling out a new professional practices policy based on principles to help associates take better decisions and continuing to further leverage data analytics to become more predictive in identifying risks.
The Novartis leadership team, at all levels of the organization, continues to reinforce the message of never compromising on ethical standards and values.