Pfizer talks deal strategy as analysts buzz about Sanofi's next move

Now that Sanofi has started talking numbers with Genzyme regarding a possible acquisition, the biotech world is abuzz about bidding wars and the potential for new M&A deals. Pfizer's CFO, though, made it clear that his company has no wish to get in any contest to acquire Genzyme--or any big biotech developer.

Frank D'Amelio's idea of a great deal would come in at several billion dollars--tops--with "bolt-on" acquisitions about the only target of interest. Pfizer's numbers guy also seems more interested in stock buybacks and sweetened dividends than any big new buyout.

Running on rumors and insider leaks, Reuters turned its attention to the whole Big Pharma buyout strategy, and doused it with remarks from Bain & Co. about how badly these deals can turn out for the acquirer. Best bet? Bolt-on biotech buyouts, of course. And then the wire service speculates about who would make a better target for Sanofi if Genzyme proves too pricey: Gilead, Biogen Idec, Celgene and Amgen all make the list.

Of course, anyone taking over Amgen might have a hard time describing it as a bolt-on. And no one would think it would go cheap. Right now, though, with Genzyme stories chumming the M&A waters, you can expect to hear lots of cries of "shark!"

- read the Wall Street Journal's Pfizer piece
- check out the Reuters story on deal strategies
- here's the Bloomberg update on the Genzyme/Sanofi talks