Sanofi board to support $18.7-bn Genzyme bid

Written by Bloomberg | Updated: Jul 31 2010, 04:13am hrs
Sanofi-Aventis SA chief executive officer Chris Viehbacher has support from his board of directors to offer as much as $70 a share for Genzyme, or about $18.7 billion, said three people with knowledge of the situation.

Frances largest drugmaker is preparing a formal approach, and plans to send a letter to Genzyme in the coming days that will detail its interest and give a specific price, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. The Paris-based company may offer less than $70 a share in the letter, two of the people said.

Viehbacher is counting on takeovers to help replace revenue it will lose as its medicines face competition from lower-priced generic drugs. Sanofi cut its 2010 earnings forecast this month after US regulators approved a generic rival to its Lovenox blood thinner. Genzyme, the worlds largest maker of medicines for genetic diseases, last week rebuffed an informal approach by Sanofi to enter talks, said people familiar with the situation.