Too much cash and too much choice over where to spend it. That’s the M&A dilemma facing Chris Viehbacher, the chief executive of Sanofi-Aventis.
The French pharmaceutical group generated $10.7bn in cash from operations last year and pressure is growing for him to put it to use.
Along with the rest of the industry, Sanofi’s future revenues have come under threat as patents on blockbuster drugs expire and sales are lost to cheaper generics.
Mr Viehbacher has been critical of mega-mergers as a way to plug the revenue gap. Like his counterpart Andrew Witty at GlaxoSmithKline, he has argued that size alone is not the right cure and does little to boost research and development productivity.