It's official: Sanofi-Aventis world's third-largest pharmaceutical company

22nd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 20 (AFP) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Synthelabo on Friday formally announced the birth of Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe.

PARIS, Aug 20 (AFP) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Synthelabo on Friday formally announced the birth of Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe.

Sanofi-Synthelabo said earlier this month it would push for 100 percent control of its former rival and newly-acquired subsidiary Aventis after the French Financial Market Authority confirmed the success of its controversial takeover offer.

Sanofi-Synthelabo now controls Aventis with 95.47 percent of the share capital.

As previously announced, Sanofi-Synthelabo hereby officially changes its name to Sanofi-Aventis, a press release said late Friday.

The new group, with a scientific research budget of EUR 4.2 billion, came into being despite weeks of fierce opposition by Aventis after the French government threw its weight behind the takeover, declaring it in France's strategic interest.

The French government's interventionist attitude was awakened by interest shown in Aventis by the Swiss drugs giant Novartis.

It raised the ire of German officials and doubts about the devotion of French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin's cabinet to free-market practices common in other major economies.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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