Price-bound Sanofi may forego Genzyme bid

Sources close to the Sanofi-Genzyme talks say the French drugmaker isn't about to pay more than $70 per share for the beleaguered U.S. company. But, if analysts are to be believed, Genzyme is holding out for at least $75. So, Bloomberg reports, Sanofi may just turn its takeover-hungry eyes toward new targets.

Sanofi's major investors L'Oreal and Total, both of which have seats on the board, aren't convinced that Genzyme is the best buyout prospect for the company, and Sanofi could buy it without overpaying.

At least one banker close to the deal told Reuters that these big shareholders are more interested in buying Shire, the U.K.-based specialty drugmaker. Shire recently took advantage of manufacturing problems at Genzyme to fast-track an experimental rival for one of Genzyme's rare-disease drugs. Other prospects, according to Bloomberg, are cancer-drug specialist Celgene and Botox-maker Allergan.

But analysts aren't convinced; Sanofi might just be playing negotiating games. "[N]ice try, but Sanofi is not going to go and buy Allergan or Celgene instead," OrbiMed Advisors' Sven Borho told Reuters.

Meanwhile, some other folks are keying in on the fact that Sanofi hired a proxy solicitation firm--a key step toward a hostile takeover attempt. Sanofi insiders tell Reuters that they're really not interested in going hostile, however; remember, the company wouldn't get a chance to go over Genzyme's records with a fine-toothed comb in a hostile takeover, and that due diligence is key, considering the company's ongoing manufacturing woes.

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