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Sanofi Said to Be Preparing Genzyme Bid

Sanofi Said To Be Preparing Genzyme Bid [Boston Herald]

From Boston Herald (MA) (July 29, 2010)

July 28--Sanofi-Aventis SA Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher has support from his board of directors to offer as much as $70 a share for Genzyme, or about $18.7 billion, three people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg News.

Sanofi is preparing a formal approach and plans to send a letter to Genzyme in coming days detailing its interest and a specific price, said these sources. The Paris-based company may offer less than $70 a share in the letter, two of the people said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Sanofi was preparing to send Genzyme a "bear hug" letter -- a friendly takeover offer meant to increase pressure on board members and appeal to shareholders. The Journal said the offer could be as high as $75 per share.

Viehbacher would need board approval to make a higher offer, said these people. Genzyme shares closed today at $68, up 26 percent since Sanofi’s interest in the company was first reported on July 23. Sanofi reports earnings tomorrow.

Jean-Marc Podvin, a spokesman for Sanofi, wasn’t immediately reachable for comment after regular business hours.

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Posted: July 2010