Sanofi-aventis to acquire Chattem for $1.9 billion

French pharmaceuticals company Sanofi-Aventis is acquiring US consumer healthcare products group Chattem Inc for around $1.9 billion in order to strengthen its presence in over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare products in the US.

Chattem ranks among the top 10 US consumer health companies and the acquisition would help the French drug firm move up a rank to the world's fifth  largest drug maker.

Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis and Tennessee-based Chattem today said that they have signed a deal under which Sanofi-aventis would acquire 100 per cent of the outstanding shares of Chattem in cash for $93.50 per share, amounting to approximately $1.9 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi-Aventis would commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Chattem at $93.50 per share in cash.

The offer price represents a 34 per cent premium above the closing price of Chattem's shares on 18 December 2009 and a 44-per cent premium above the average closing price of Chattem's shares during the 6 months preceding the announcement of the transaction.

"Following the successful completion of the tender offer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis will merge with Chattem and the outstanding Chattem shares not tendered in the tender offer will be converted into the right to receive the same $ 93.50 per share in cash paid in the tender offer," Sanofi-Aventis said in a statement.