How much is Genzyme worth?

The latest Genzyme sale saga goes on, though the most recent twist is getting hard to follow. According to a report in Bloomberg, Genzyme has rebuffed Sanofi's overture. But a report from Reuters claims that the real inside scoop is that Genzyme's (GENZ) board is weighing the informal takeover approach even though it doesn't want to sell. And Reuters adds that even though Bloomberg reported that the Boston biotech had directly pushed back at Sanofi, no direct message has been sent.

Neither of those conflicting accounts, though, is likely to chill one of the hottest takeover rumors to sweep through the biotech industry in months. Investors quickly handicapped the race with plenty of speculation about the kind of money it would take to complete a buyout. But once again, the story splits along two different paths.

Sam Isaly, managing partner at OrbiMed Advisors, told Reuters that "the $70 range" is a likely price target, with Reuters pinning the high end at $80 a share. Bloomberg focuses on the $80 price tag as the "least" the company is worth, which would require $22 billion. And a higher price could be required if all the rumors of a bidding war were to become reality.

"If two or three companies get involved in bidding, the 80s are achieved really easily," OrbiMed's Sven Borho tells Bloomberg, "there are so few good assets out there, and this is one of the more promising assets."

This story is not over yet, and Genzyme's shares gained another 7.8 percent on Monday, profiting from all the market buzz.    

- here's the story from Reuters
- here's the Bloomberg report
- read the story from the Financial Times