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Sanofi to buy Genzyme for about US$19 billion
BOSTON/PHILADELPHIA—Sanofi-Aventis SA has reached an agreement in principle to buy Genzyme Corp for about US$19 billion in cash plus future payments based on the performance of an experimental Genzyme drug, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks. Under the agreement, Genzyme investors will receive US$74 per share in cash plus a contingent value right, or CVR, whose value will depend on Genzyme's experimental multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada, the sources said yesterday.
The value of the CVR could not immediately be established. The deal is expected to be announced by today, the sources said. The two companies’ boards are expected to vote on the agreement shortly. The deal is the second-biggest in biotech history and gives France’s Sanofi, which has pursued Genzyme for nearly nine months, a foothold in the market to treat rare diseases. It will help Sanofi compensate for declining revenue from drugs that have lost, or are set to lose, patent protection. Officials at Sanofi were not immediately available for comment. Bo Piela, a spokesman for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Genzyme, said he “cannot confirm” that an agreement has been reached. (Reuters)
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