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December 13, 2010 4:07 PM

Sanofi Extends Hostile Bid for Genzyme into New Year

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Anyone hoping for a speedy resolution to Sanofi Aventis's hostile takeover bid for Genzyme won't be getting an early Christmas present.

After being on the table since late summer, the French drugmaker's $18.5 billion tender offer was due to expire on December 10. But Sanofi has now announced that it is extending the offer through January 21, according to The New York Times.

The move represents Sanofi's latest attempt to drum up support among Genzyme shareholders as a way of bypassing the company's board, which rejected Sanofi's $69-per-share hostile offer on October 8.

As The Am Law Daily noted in October, the Genzyme board claimed it had discussed the possibility of the offer being increased to $80 per share with Sanofi higher-ups. Sanofi, however, denied considering such a sweetened offer.

The NYT reports that only 2.2 million--or roughly 1 percent--of Genzyme's shares have been tendered so far as a result of the Sanofi bid, which will remain at $69-per-share under the extension. Brad Loncar, a Genzyme shareholder in Lenexa, Kansas, told the NYT in an e-mail: "Given that they received less than one percent shareholder support for their bid, it is perplexing, to say the least, how Sanofi could simply renew their offer without changes. I think Sanofi has lost a little credibility today."

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is advising longtime client Sanofi. Ropes & Gray is representing Genzyme, while that company's independent directors are being advised by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

 

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