Genzyme on buyouts: Thanks but no thanks

We're happy the way we are, thank you very much. That's what Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer (photo) has to say to rumors that the company could be next on the list of Big pharma biotech buyouts. Activist investor Carl Icahn (photo) recently took a 1 percent stake in the Boston-based biotech, igniting speculation that Genzyme would soon find itself on the auction block. After all, two other biotechs--MedImmune and Biogen Idec--ended up there after Icahn got involved.

But Termeer says acquisition by a Big Pharma just doesn't make sense for either party. Genzyme, which has a market value of about $19 billion, specializes in treatments for rare diseases--hardly fertile territory for a pharmaceutical company looking for its next blockbuster. Genzyme already has its own worldwide sales force, and the company's long-term prospects as an independent operation look good. Since learning of Icahn's move, Termeer has been on the road convincing analysts that Genzyme works better as a stand-alone company.

- see this Wall Street Journal article for more