Insider buzz: Sanofi circles $70 as top Genzyme bid

Sanofi-Aventis appears to be digging in around $70 as its top price for Genzyme (GENZ)--a figure that won't spur much enthusiasm at the board of the big biotech company.

Bloomberg is the latest to fire a new salvo of insider news regarding the behind-the-scenes merger talks now under way, quoting sources who say that Sanofi has decided to cap its bid at $70, just slightly higher than its initial $69 offer. Reuters earlier reported that Sanofi's board has approved a $70 bid, and there's considerable reluctance to move up from that point. Bloomberg also reports that Sanofi may look at alternative M&A targets if Genzyme doesn't start warming up to a buyout.

There's been no indication  that Genzyme would be at all interested in $70. While its share price had been hammered by a string of manufacturing woes, execs and investors still fondly recall when the stock traded in the low $80s. This latest leak may be calculated to help focus those same execs and investors on what Genzyme's stock price might look like if Sanofi loses interest in a deal. Genzyme shares slid to $66.02 this morning.

Bloomberg's insiders at Sanofi obligingly highlighted three potential targets for takeover bids: Allergan, Bausch & Lomb and Celgene.

- here's the report from Bloomberg
- here's the Reuters story