Report: Sanofi readies $20B deal package for Genzyme

The French newspaper Le Figaro is reporting that Sanofi-Aventis has settled on a plan to try and capture Genzyme for $70 to $71 a share in cash along with $5 or $6 a share more in a contingent value right pact giving the biotech's shareholders some upside based on the future performance of its experimental therapies. Le Figaro, which outlined a possible deal valuing Genzyme at around $20 billion, quoted unnamed insiders in the French company.

There has been a long trail of reports out on the discussions inside Sanofi and Genzyme, of course, with sources floating various trial balloons between the two parties. Genzyme has been bunkered in since it first rejected Sanofi's initial, and only, formal offer of $69 a share. And Sanofi has to contend with big investors who are leery of paying a premium for anything. But earlier this week the two sides initiated direct talks, leading some analysts to conclude that they may be able to eventually overcome the huge distance between Sanofi's offer and Genzyme's demand.

The key to any eventual pact may well be in the CVR, with Sanofi keeping its upfront cash relatively low as it lays out a path forward paved with potential profits from new products.

- here's the report from Reuters