Impasse, round 2: Sanofi officially extends Genzyme bid

At some point, the standoff between Sanofi-Aventis ($SNY) chief Christopher Viehbacher (photo) and Genzyme ($GENZ) CEO Henri Termeer (photo) has to end. The question is how--and who will blink first.

As expected, Sanofi has extended its tender offer into January without changing it one bit, despite the fact that less than one percent of Genzyme shares have been tendered. And as the Wall Street Journal's Deal Journal points out, why would they? The stock is still trading above Sanofi's $69-per-share offer.

It looked as if the two companies might have a face-saving way forward, back when the idea of contingent value rights (CVRs) came up. That would allow Genzyme to collect on its multibillion-dollar Campath-value predictions, provided they prove out. But analysts figure that Sanofi isn't as keen on the idea as Genzyme is.

Deal Journal predicts that Sanofi will have to relent on its demand for a peek into Genzyme's books. Viehbacher has said that more info is a prerequisite to a new offer, but as you know, Genzyme says a new offer is a prerequisite for more info. Meanwhile, no white-knight bidder has surfacedl, and Viehbacher appears willing to wait...and wait...and wait.

- check out the statement from Sanofi
- read the Deal Journal piece
- get the news from Reuters 
- see the Financial Times coverage