Novartis 'mulls counterbid for Aventis'

30th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 30 (AFP) - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is considering making a counterbid for French-German drugs group Aventis, which is the target of a hostile offer from French rival Sanofi-Synthelabo, the Wall Street Journal Europe reported Friday.

PARIS, Jan 30 (AFP) - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is considering making a counterbid for French-German drugs group Aventis, which is the target of a hostile offer from French rival Sanofi-Synthelabo, the Wall Street Journal Europe reported Friday.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the newspaper said Novartis had hired investment bankers to see if a deal was worth pursuing. Novartis declined to comment, the paper said.

Aventis rejected Sanofi's EUR 46 billion (USD 57 billion) hostile bid earlier this week, with Aventis chief executive Igor Landau saying the offer would only be interesting if it were raised 40-50 percent.

Landau said Friday in an interview in French business newspaper Les Echos that he was constantly "evaluating the interest to Aventis" of possible tie-ups.

But he once again rejected Sanofi's offer, saying it was "dangerous on an industrial level, dangerous for development and dangerous on a social level (for employment)".

© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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