Genzyme refuses $18.5B buyout offer

Genzyme Corp. this week snubbed an $18.5 billion buyout bid by Sanofi-Aventis, arguing that the offer grossly undervalues the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company — one of the largest in the world.

“The Genzyme board is not prepared to engage in merger negotiations with Sanofi based upon an opportunistic proposal with an unrealistic starting price that dramatically undervalues our company," Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer wrote to Sanofi Monday.

The $18.5 billion offer breaks down to about $69 per share. Citibank analysts estimate that Sanofi-Aventis would have to hike its offer to as high as $77 per share to entice Genzyme shareholders to support the deal, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.