Sanofi Aventis reportedly raises offer to $71 per share

Sanofi Aventis, the world's fourth-largest pharmaceutical company by prescription sales is reported to have upped its takeover offer for Genzyme Corporation by $3 to $71 per share in order to have a look into the biotech firm's books and conduct due diligence.

DealReporter, a financial news service that is part of The Mergermarket Group, a division of The Financial Times Group said that Sanofi's offer is the "top-end" informal proposal for conducting a partial due diligence.

Without revealing its source, DealReporter said that the figure was discussed by the two companies over the phone late last week.

But Sanofi's chief executive Chris Viehbacher, who is currently in New York and had held meetings yesterday with Genzyme shareholders to gauge their mood, is reported to have told them that Sanofi will not bid against itself and raise the offer.

On 29 August, Paris-based Sanofi had made a $69 per share in cash, or $18.5-billion takeover offer, representing a 38-per cent premium over Genzyme's share price of $49.86 on 1 July 2010. (See: Sanofi-Aventis reveals $18.5-billion offer for Genzyme)

Sanofi went public with the proposal after Massachusetts-based Genzyme rejected Sanofi's non-binding offer made on 29 July.