Sanofi-Aventis gearing to make US acquisition worth $20 billion: report

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis is preparing to make a major acquisition in the US in a deal that may be worth around $20 billion, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

Bloomberg, citing two of the people, who declined to be identified, said that Chris Viehbacher, CEO of Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis has briefed the board on possible acquisition targets in the US at a special meeting this week.

Although the French drug maker has yet not identified the target, sources told Bloomberg that the deal size could be as big as $20 billion.

As speculation mounted that Allergan Inc, Biogen Idec Inc and Genzyme Corporation would be the likely US pharmaceutical companies that would fit within the $20 billion deal size of Sanofi-Aventis, stock prices of these companies shot up in the US trading yesterday.

Allergan, based in Irvine, California is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and sells ophthalmic, dermatology and neurological products.

For 2009, it had revenues of $4.50 billion, net income of $621 million and has a market cap of $17 billion.