Sanofi out for total control of Aventis

12th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 12 (AFP) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Synthelabo said 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 on Thursday.

PARIS, Aug 12 (AFP) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Synthelabo said 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 on Thursday.  

A statement from Sanofi-Synthelabo said that "having acquired more than two-thirds of the capital and the voting rights in Aventis, it will reopen its bid to French, German and American shareholders for 17 days of trading on the stock markets", starting Friday.  

The offer will close on September 6, the result will be announced on September 16 and shareholders will be paid on September 24, it said.  

Sanofi said the price offered for the remaining stock would be "identical to that in its revised bid" which secured 89.84 percent of Aventis for EUR 48 billion (USD 58.56 billion) at EUR 68.11 a share.  

The statement was released after the French Financial Market Authority confirmed preliminary results announced on Monday showing that Sanofi had acquired "89.84 percent of shares and 89.88 percent of the voting rights in Aventis".  

Sanofi-Synthelabo also said that Aventis would formally become its subsidiary on August 20 and that the group would change its name to Sanofi-Aventis on that date.  

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.  

Sanofi chairman Jean-François Dehecq will preside over the 17-member board of the new group, which will include eight others chosen by Sanofi and eight by Aventis.  

Aventis chairman Igor Landau will be a board member but will not have an executive position.   

Sanofi has had to take on debt of EUR 16 billion from banks in order to swallow up Aventis, which is two times bigger in terms of sales.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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