Sanofi-Aventis reveals $18.5-billion offer for Genzyme

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis made public yesterday its $18.5-billion all-cash offer for the world's third-largest biotech firm Genzyme Corporation, after weekof waiting for a positive response from Genzyme on possible acquisition talks.

Under the terms, Genzyme shareholders are being offered $69 per share in cash, representing a 38-per cent premium over Genzyme's share price of $49.86 on 1 July 2010, a statement said.

The pharma major said that the offer price represents a multiple of 36 times Genzyme's 2010 earnings per share and 20 times its 2011 earnings, according to consensus estimates by analysts.

Sanofi CEO Christopher Viehbacher said, ''A combination with Genzyme represents a compelling opportunity for both companies and our respective shareholders and is consistent with our sustainable growth strategy.''

Last month, Sanofi-Aventis made an informal acquisition approach to Genzyme. (See: Sanofi-Aventis targets troubled Genzyme Corp for takeover).

Subsequently, the company submitted a non-binding offer on 29 July 2010 which was rejected by Genzyme.