Genzyme says it is still up for sale

City A.M. Reporter
GENZYME chief executive Henri Termeer said he is willing to sell the company he built up over 25 years, but not for $69 a share.

Termeer yesterday said it was unlikely that French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA would go hostile with its $18.5bn bid and that the two sides had a good chance of coming to terms, though negotiations could last months.

On Monday, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company rejected Sanofi’s bid of $69 a share. Sanofi has hinted it may take its offer directly to Genzyme shareholders if the company refuses to enter discussions based on its current offer.

“I think a hostile situation is unlikely to occur here,” Termeer said in an interview with Reuters. “We need each other too much in terms of future value. It may well be that they go that way, but I would recommend against it if I were advising the other side.” He said there was a “high probability” that a deal would eventually be consummated, given the two companies’ strategic needs.

Sanofi faces the loss of some 20 per cent of its revenue by 2013 as generic competition erodes sales. Genzyme is the world’s leading maker of drugs for rare genetic diseases, generating sales in 2009 of $4.5bn.