Novartis CEO says bolt-on buys still possible

Novartis will focus on completing the overhaul of its portfolio, but remains on the lookout for bolt-on buys that could strengthen its three core businesses, the drugmaker's chief executive said on Tuesday.

"We've got our hands full now. From an execution standpoint, we're going to be planning the integration of the oncology business and the de-integration of the other two businesses as well as OTC," Joe Jimenez told an investor call.

"At the same time we're not going to let bolt-ons pass if they are valued and it looks like they could reinforce the big three - big three meaning pharma, or eye care or generics."

(Reporting by Caroline Copley)