The agreement for Novartis to buy Alcon from Nestlé has completed its first step, with Novartis paying about $10.4 billion for 74 million shares of Alcon, or just under 25 percent of the company's common stock. At this point, Nestlé retains majority ownership with about 52 percent. However, Novartis has the right to buy Nestlé's remaining shares for about $28 billion between January 2010 and July 2011. As part of the deal, the board has two new members: James Singh, Nestlé's executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Daniel Vasella, chairman and chief executive of Novartis.