Sanofi-Aventis SA ’s three-month effort to acquire Genzyme Corp. took a more contentious turn as the companies’ chief executive officers offered conflicting accounts of their face-to-face meeting last month.
Genzyme Corp. agreed to give Sanofi- Aventis SA access to confidential information, bringing the companies a step closer to a deal five months after the French drugmaker offered to buy Genzyme for $18.5 billion.
Options contracts on Genzyme Corp.’s multiple sclerosis drug would decrease Sanofi-Aventis SA’s cost by as much as $1.6 billion in a takeover of the world’s largest maker of treatments for rare genetic diseases.
Sanofi-Aventis SA and Genzyme Corp. are likely to approve a takeover of the U.S. biotechnology company today and are discussing a price of about $74 a share plus potential additional payments tied to the performance of a Genzyme drug, said four people with knowledge of the plan.
Sanofi-Aventis SA’s talks with Genzyme Corp. may value the biotechnology company at about $76 to $77 a share, including payments tied to sales of an experimental multiple sclerosis drug, three people with knowledge of the discussions said.
Genzyme Corp., which spurned Sanofi- Aventis SA’s $18.5 billion takeover bid, was sued by investors who contend the biotechnology company is wrongfully depriving shareholders of the chance to profit from the offer.
Sanofi-Aventis SA and Genzyme Corp. are making progress in takeover talks and the French drugmaker is weighing a symbolic bump to its $18.5 billion offer, said two people with knowledge of the situation.