Termeer: Sanofi deal will take time
With a takeover offer from French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA set to expire Friday at midnight, Genzyme Corp. chief executive Henri A Termeer this morning told Boston business leaders, "It will take time" to negotiate an acquisition of the state's largest biotechnology company.
"It took us 30 years to get to where we are," Termeer told more than 150 people at a breakfast meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. "So it will take some time to understand the next step, to understand the dynamics and the value."
Termeer gave no specifics of the takeover talks, but he said his company "can't be angry" at Sanofi's unsolicited $18.5 billion tender offer.
Cambridge-based Genzyme will seek to improve that offer; in particular, he said, Sanofi will have to find some way to recognize the value of Genzyme's experimental drug for multiple sclerosis, which Genzyme believes has the potential for blockbuster sales.
Termeer also said he was confident any Genzyme purchaser would want to keep its Boston area research and manufacturing operations intact, noting that the company's science and its people are a key source of biotechnology innovation.
"Only then will they get the return on their investment," he said.
Wading into a heated US policy dispute, Termeer also said today that, although he thinks the Obama adminstration's health care overhaul is flawed, he does not favor repeal. Instead, he said lawmakers should work to improve the health care law.