Sanofi and Genzyme Dance On

It is a classic romantic tale. Up-and-coming girl makes good but then gets in trouble and a wealthy suitor rushes to her aid, but she rebuffs his advances and is determined to make it on her own, pausing only to sell off some of her business units.

OK, maybe not quite the classic romance, but since Saniofi offered $69 a share to rescue Genzyme from their current woes, the main movement has come from Genzyme’s defiance division, as they sold their genetics unit to LabCorp and have two other units up for sale. They also announced job cuts and a reorganization.

Genzyme have insisted this is nothing to do with the advances from Sanofi and Sanofi have said their offer will not be improved. Will they just walk away if the shareholders can’t be persuaded? The restructuring and the sale of business units might be seen as trying to make the business more attractive (thus inducing Sanofi to improve their offer) or perhaps as the current management’s attempt to get out of the mess they find themselves in. That the mess is mostly self-created makes some dobtful they can pull that one off alone.

For some reason this particular dance has me enthralled. I hate seeing those lay-offs at Genzyme, though likely they would have come after a Sanofi takeover as well. I’ve rather playfully attributed Genzyme’s moves as defiant though at least one commentator thought Genzyme’s long-time CEO Henri Termeer was just out of touch and taking his ship down with him.

Now we wait to see what will happen next.


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