Buying a new company isn’t an easy process, as clearly shown by one of the industry’s most talked about potential mergers: Sanofi and Genzyme have been talking for months now, but there’s still no indication that a deal will take place. Sanofi made a tender offer last year to acquire the company at $69 per share, but had to extend the original December 2010 deadline to 21 Janaury 2011 after less than 1% of shares were tendered. The tender offer is still open, but there’s no indication that the result will be favorable to Sanofi.
So it’s back to discussions and, indeed, the discussions are continuing.
“These discussions have focused on potential terms for a negotiated transaction and have included the possible use of a contingent value right relating to alemtuzumab as part of any potential resolution of differences with respect to value,” said the Genzyme statement.
However, this doesn’t mean the deal will go ahead as Genzyme emphasizes that it can “provide no assurance that these discussions will continue or will result in a transaction”.
A statement from Sanofi also revealed that the companies were in discussions about the value of Lemtrada, an experimental multiple sclerosis drug. However, Sanofi also added: “There remain significant differences on the terms and conditions of the potential Contingent Value Right (CVR) and the value of our offer, and there is no guarantee that the parties will come to an agreement.”
Mid-week, Sanofi also said that the European Commission had cleared the proposed acquisition unconditionally under EU merger rules.
So now Sanofi just needs to actually acquire Genzyme. There’s been talk for some time in third-party media sources that Sanofi may up its bid and this week is no different. According to a piece in Le Figaro Sanofi may go as high as $76 per share. This has not been confirmed by Sanofi, but it’s possible that the company may have to bid even higher if it really wants Genzyme. According to Reuters: “An improved offer of an extra cash top-up plus a CVR would probably not surprise investors — but $76 would likely be viewed by many Genzyme investors as being on the low side.”