Genzyme breaks silence to rebuff Sanofi
US biotech Genzyme broke its five-week silence to reject an $18.5 billion takeover proposal by French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis on Monday, dismissing it as opportunistic and too low.
Sanofi Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher confirmed his $69 per share non-binding cash offer for Genzyme on Sunday, hinting he could make a hostile takeover bid following several unsuccessful attempts to hold talks with Genzyme management.
Genzyme hit back on Monday, saying that Sanofi's proposal showed no improvement in price since Viehbacher first wrote to management in July and failed to form the basis for talks.
"The Genzyme board is not prepared to engage in merger negotiations with Sanofi based upon an opportunistic proposal with an unrealistic starting price that dramatically undervalues the company," Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer said in a letter to Viehbacher published on Monday.
Sources previously told Reuters that Genzyme wants an offer of at least $75 per share before Sanofi could review its books. Some shareholders want as much as $80 a share to clinch a deal.