Sanofi-aventis has finally agreed a deal to acquire Genzyme Corporation.
The pharma company will pay more than $20 billion in cash, with Genzyme becoming its global centre for excellence in rare diseases.
Christopher Viehbacher, CEO of sanofi-aventis, says the agreement matches the company’s “long-term strategy and creates significant long-term value” for its shareholders.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors, is expected to be completed in early April, subject to customary closing conditions.
But the two will immediately begin integration planning, including the formation of a joint Integration Steering Committee with Henri Termeer – who will stand down from his role of Chairman, President and CEO of Genzyme – becoming co-chairman with Mr Viehbacher.
The $74 per share agreement includes Genzyme shareholders receiving a Contingent Value Right (CVR) for each share they own entitling them to an additional cash payment if milestones related to Lemtrada (alemtuzumab MS), Cerezyme or Fabrazyme are achieved.
“This transaction will create a meaningful new growth platform for sanofi-aventis while expanding our footprint in biotechnology,” said Christopher Viehbacher (pictured).
“We expect it to be accretive from year one, and the CVR structure, which served as an important value bridge between our two companies, rewards both Genzyme and sanofi-aventis shareholders, particularly if Lemtrada outperforms the market’s current expectations.”
Sanofi says its “global footprint, significant resources and proven track record of successfully expanding franchises” will create long-term growth opportunities for the combined company, particularly in emerging markets.
Beyond rare diseases, Sanofi intends to use the strong presents of Genzyme’s Renal-Endocrinology, Hematology-Oncology and Biosurgery businesses to compliment its own and include highly differentiated, market-leading products that provide “significant benefit to patients”.
In keeping with other acquisitions completed by sanofi-aventis, Genzyme will retain its corporate brand.
Henri Termeer says that the agreement is a new chapter in the history of Genzyme and he predicts a bright future for the two companies working together.
“This transaction represents a new beginning for Genzyme,” he said.
“Genzyme has a record of innovation and a unique and pioneering approach to serving patients. We also share an exciting vision of the future, one in which Genzyme and sanofi-aventis grow and innovate by developing breakthrough treatments that change the lives of people with serious diseases. Sanofi-aventis believes in what we do, in our people and in our potential. We look forward to building a sustainable future together.”
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