Anxious to stir up a bidding war, Genzyme ($GENZ) has reportedly initiated a discussion with Japan's Takeda around an $82-per-share target offer, according to a number of press reports. Takeda is among several companies reportedly being rung up by Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer (photo), who has spurned Sanofi-Aventis' ($SNY) $69 offer as an attempt to acquire the Boston biotech in a bargain basement play.
"Genzyme has been apparently talking to different companies to find better match/price and/or force Sanofi to get serious," Michael Obuchowski, chief investment officer at First Empire Asset Management, writes in a message to Bloomberg. "Buying Genzyme would make sense for Takeda. Takeda has been trying to aggressively grow their U.S. business."
Takeda, however, has demonstrated little previous interest in the rare disease field in which Genzyme works. Takeda acquired Millennium's oncology pipeline when it bought out that developer for $8.8 billion. Since then, the company has spotlighted cancer, CNS diseases and metabolic diseases as its three key focuses. But with generic competition growing for key assets, Takeda has to move quickly to garner fresh revenue sources.
Quoting sources, Dow Jones reported that Takeda did explore a takeover attempt, but isn't likely to follow up. Genzyme made it clear earlier that it is checking out all its options. However, in the months following Sanofi's low-ball offer, no white knight has appeared to contest a takeover. That's bad news for Genzyme, which desperately wants to get the bidding to the $80 mark and earlier estimated its own value at $89 a share.