Leaks highlight Sanofi's strategy on Genzyme deal

The recent leaks from Sanofi's camp all point to the same conclusion: Don't look for the pharma giant to pay any rich premiums for Genzyme. Today, the views of two big Sanofi investors--L'Oreal and Total--are being put on display, offering to douse any heated speculation about how high the bidding could rise.

One of Reuters' sources even notes that Sanofi could be better off bidding on Shire, a rival to Genzyme which wouldn't cost as much to acquire. Meanwhile, Genzyme's sources have been opening up, telling the news wire that it would take a bid of $75 to get negotiations under way, with a target price of $80 for any acceptable bid.

CNBC's David Faber, meanwhile, is reporting that Sanofi is lining up its team to go hostile on Genzyme, although the company hasn't decided whether to pull that trigger. Sanofi has recruited a proxy solicitor, Faber reports, and its bankers are querying Genzyme investors on what price they might accept.

Bloomberg got the market's juices running with its report yesterday that Sanofi might even switch its focus to Celgene or Allergan if it can't pick up Genzyme for $70 a share. But with rumors and insider reports the only clues to work with, some analysts felt as if they were getting played.

"It worked for a second," OrbiMed's Sven Borho tells Reuters. "There was a lot of shouting in our office, but then a minute later everyone said, 'nice try, but Sanofi is not going to go and buy Allergan or Celgene instead.'" Some analysts are likely to feel that the speculation on Shire could be just another ruse in the gamesmanship on display this week.

- here's the story from Reuters
- read the CNBC report