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Sanofi-Aventis SA agreed to buy Genzyme Corp., ending a nine-month pursuit of the U.S. biotechnology company with a sweetened offer of at least $20.1 billion that gives France’s biggest drugmaker treatments for rare diseases.
Genzyme’s stockholders will get $74 a share in cash, Paris- based Sanofi said today in a statement. They also will receive so-called contingent value rights that entitle them to payments of as much as $14 a share depending on the performance of Genzyme’s experimental multiple-sclerosis drug Lemtrada and production levels of two other products, the company said.
Acquiring Genzyme, the world’s largest maker of medicines for rare genetic disorders, will help Chief Executive Officer Chris Viehbacher offset revenue losses as some of Sanofi’s biggest-selling products face competition from generic versions. Sanofi gains treatments for Fabry, Gaucher and Pompe diseases.