Report: Sanofi mulling $20B deal

Citing five unnamed people "with knowledge of the situation," Bloomberg is reporting that Sanofi-Aventis is mulling a potential $20 billion deal with a U.S. company. The news service says CEO Chris Viehbacher (photo) briefed the board this week in a special meeting. Any potential deal is in "very early stages" and could still fall through, according to sources. Sanofi refused to comment on the report.

Of course, the rumor mill has already kicked into overdrive with speculation about possible buyout targets. While Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb have long been partners--and rumors of a BMS buyout make the rounds regularly--Sanofi would need more than the proposed $20 billion dollars to complete that deal. Other targets could include Allergan or Biogen Idec, which earlier this week announced the appointment of a new CEO.

Viehbacher has been on a buying spree since leaving GSK for Sanofi's top spot at the end of 2008. The French drugmaker has spent a whopping $17 billion on 25 acquisitions in the past year and a half as it attempts to replace revenue lost from generic competition. Its most recent deal was the $635 million buyout of TargeGen, which is developing kinase inhibitors for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases.

- here's the Bloomberg report
- see the PharmaTimes article fore more

FEATURE: Sanofi-Aventis: A timeline of biopharma deals. Timeline