Friday, November 26, 2010

Time is on Termeer's side

Henri Termeer, head of the American biotech company Genzyme, told Le Figaro in an interview that while he is not against Sanofi-Aventis’s $18.5 billion takeover offer in principle, he thinks it should be higher.
Newcomers among Genzyme shareholders, he said, had bought in at between $70 and $72 per share, already above the $69 offered by Sanofi. Asked if his objections were merely a matter of price, he responded with one word: yes.
As Reuters has reported, Genzyme may accept an altered deal structure that included extra payments from Sanofi if the company performed well. The change, known as a contingent value right, or CVR, might be tied to the performance of Genzyme’s drug, Campath, which treats multiple sclerosis, Mr. Termeer said.
“Time is on our side,” he told the French daily, “because our production problems are being resolved.” A Genzyme plant was hobbled by a viral contamination that slowed down the production of two of its more popular drugs.
“If the board doesn’t give its agreement, Sanofi will have to wait until the shareholders’ meeting is held next year,” he said, adding that it would be a “hard path” for the bidder.


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