French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis finally succeeded in acquiring US biotechnology company Genzyme at a higher-than-initial offer price of $20.1 billion (£12.4 billion, €14.8 billion).
Genzyme acquisition gives Sanofi access to the high value rare diseases drugs market. The deal is strategically important for Sanofi since some of its blockbuster drugs have come off patents, eroding its sales recently.
Massachusetts based Genzyme has developed drugs to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, high blood cholesterol and rare genetic disorders.
Christopher Viebacher, Chief Executive of Sanofi said: “This transaction will create a meaningful new growth platform for Sanofi-Aventis while expanding our footprint in biotechnology”.
Sanofi had started the acquisition effort in August 2010, which Genzyme rejected citing the price does not correctly reflect the company’s pipeline of potential drugs under development.
Under the present deal, Genzyme shareholders will be entitled for additional future payments based on the success of its pipeline drugs, including the multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada.