PARIS (AP) – French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis said it has extended its unsolicited $18.5 billion takeover offer for U.S.-based biotech company Genzyme.
Sanofi’s previous tender offer for Genzyme shares expired just before midnight Friday, and now the French company says it has extended the $69-per-share offer until 11:59 p.m. ET on January 21.
Sanofi said in a statement before the open of the Paris stock exchange on Monday that 2.21 million Genzyme shares were tendered by Friday – or about 0.9 percent of the U.S. company’s outstanding shares.
Sanofi spokesman Jean-Marc Podvin said such a low percentage of acceptance was “typical” in such tender offers, adding that executives at the French company “are not surprised.”
“The key message is that we want to engage in a constructive dialogue with Genzyme to reach a transaction,” said Podvin, insisting on the “strategic fit” that it would offer.
Shares of Sanofi were down 0.3 percent to euro49.16 in late morning trading in Paris. Genzyme shares closed Friday at $69.82 on the Nasdaq exchange.
Massachusetts-based Genzyme, which specializes in drugs for rare diseases, has indicated it would fight Sanofi’s hostile takeover effort and last month estimated its own shares are worth $89 apiece.
Sanofi is the world’s fourth-biggest drugs maker.
Date: December 13, 2010
Source: Associated Press