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Sanofi: Genzyme takeover talks progressing


Sanofi: Genzyme takeover talks progressing


Sanofi-Aventis has said it is making progress on the purchase of US biotech firm Genzyme.

At the same time the French drugmaker said its earning this year are likely to be five to 10 percent lower, underscoring its need to find new sources of revenue growth.

Taking over Genzyme, which specialises in treatments for rare diseases, would help rejuvenate the company’s product line. However Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher revealed little saying only “talks are progressing.”

Sanofi and Genzyme have been thrashing out remaining issues in a takeover deal since the US firm finally agreed to open its books on January 31.

After seeing its initial overtures rejected last year, Sanofi is widely expected to sweeten its original cash offer while adding a fee tied to the performance of Lemtrada, a drug Genzyme is developing for multiple sclerosis.

People familiar with the matter have said recently the two sides are close to a deal, which many investors thought could be announced in time for Sanofi’s annual earnings on Wednesday.

Viebacher said Sanofi was carrying out due diligence “as we speak” and reiterated all options remained open.

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