Report: Sanofi-Genzyme merger deal may be days away

The French newspaper Le Figaro has weighed in with its own insider account of the Sanofi-Genzyme merger talks, speculating that the deal could get wrapped up early next week--provided, of course, both sides continue to narrow the gap that exists between what Sanofi is willing to pay in cash and what it promises in milestones.

While various news outlets have reported a conflicting set of price points, Le Figaro's sources are telling the newspaper that Sanofi is offering $72 or $73 a share in cash plus a contingent value right milestone package worth $2 to $5 a share. Genzyme has been widely reported as pressing for more cash and a smaller CVR, while Sanofi's interests are best served by reversing that formula. No two news reports on these negotiations actually match, but all of them put a final price of cash-plus-CVR in the upper-$70s, significantly more than the $69 lowball bid that Sanofi used to get the conversation started.

In fact, one of Le Figaro's sources says that the final number could be in the "very high $70s." But it's impossible to gauge exactly how the discussions are panning out right now. While insiders have been leaking like sieves, both companies have been officially tight lipped. And while each side likes to give the financial press a peak at some of their cards, no one is tipping their entire hand.

- here's the story from Reuters