Trying To Break The Genzyme Impasse

The Wall Street Journal reports that the French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA, which has been trying unsuccessfully to takeover Cambridge-based Genzyme, has formed a “working group,“ to examine the sales prospects of the company’s experimental drug for multiple sclerosis, Campath.

Sanofi recently launched an $18.5 billion hostile bid for Genzyme, which Genzyme has urged shareholders to reject. Genzyme argues it is worth more than the $69 a share Sanofi is offering, and has been promoting its growth prospects in presentations to shareholders. It has focused in particular on potential sales of Campath…

But even with this attempt to break an impasse in negotiations, it looks like both company’s have dug in. The Boston Globe reports that Sanofi won’t raise it’s offer, while Genzyme continues to insist it’s worth more:

The top executive of French drugmaker Sanofi Aventis SA, refusing to budge from his $18.5 billion bid for Genzyme Corp., this morning unleashed a withering critique of the Cambridge biotechnology company’s contention that is worth about $89 a share, billions of dollars more than the $69 a share his company has offered.

Claiming that Genzyme’s fresh earnings projections, issued last Friday, are unrealistic and “ignore the market,” Sanofi chief executive Christopher A. Viehbacher told investors in a conference call that the company’s unsolicited tender offer fairly values Genzyme and is in the best interest of its shareholders. The tender offer expires Dec. 10.