Genzyme, Genzyme, Genzyme… Most of us won’t have missed the company’s name splashed across dozens of news stories this week relating to a potential acquisition, the selling of its genetics unit and 1000 layoffs. First of all, there’s the ongoing question of whether Genzyme will succumb to sanofi-aventis’ acquisition offer. Genzyme reportedly rejected the offer of $69 per share at the end of August, but sanofi has yet to offer a higher price. Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher is still hoping for a “reasonable price”, according to a Reuters article, though he also added that he expects the process to be slow. A report from Bloomberg also speculated that the offer may have to be upped to $75 per share to please Genzyme investors.
A second reason for the company’s name hogging pharma headlines as of late is the announcement that it will be selling its genetic testing business to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) for $925 million in cash. According to the announcement, LabCorp has said it is committed to offering employment to the unit’s 1900 employees upon closing, including senior management.
In other headlines, there’s bad news for other Genzyme employees, however, with reports circling the media that the company intends to lay off 1000 workers. According to the Boston Herald, the cuts represent roughly 10% of its workforce. A blog from Pharmaceutical Executive claims that a Genzyme spokesperson has said that the cuts — planned to occur during the next 15 months — are not related to sanofi’s takeover bid from sanofi. The cuts were apparently reported to stockholders back in May as part of a five-point cost-cutting plan. No official statement is available on Genzyme’s website so it’s unclear exactly which company departments will be targeted.