Genzyme reiterates rejection of Sanofi offer
Genzyme Corp., the Cambridge biotechnology company that specializes in drugs for rare diseases, today reiterated its rejection of an unsolicited $18.5 billion takeover offer by Sanofi-Aventis, a French drug maker.
Genzyme's statement was issued hours after Sanofi said it was extending its $18.5 billion takeover offer for Genzyme through Jan. 21. Sanofi's previous tender offer for Genzyme shares expired just before midnight Friday.
In a statement issued this morning, Genzyme chairman and chief executive Henri Termeer said, "The results of the tender offer reported today demonstrate that our shareholders strongly support the view of the board that the Sanofi offer substantially undervalues Genzyme." (To read this morning's press release from Genzyme, please click here.)
According to an AP story from Paris, 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 US 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 €49.16 in late morning trading in Paris. Genzyme shares closed Friday at $69.82 on the Nasdaq exchange.
Genzyme 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.