Sanofi chief: Deal denial is 'rock solid'

The media may be salivating after a Sanofi-Aventis megadeal, but Chris Viehbacher (photo) maintains that he isn't. As you know, the rumor mill has been grinding out talk of a big-time Sanofi deal since June 11, when a French newspaper reported Sanofi shareholders had nixed the buyout of a major U.S. company. All sorts of targets have been speculated upon: The usual Bristol-Myers Squibb suggestion. Allergan. Amgen.

Sanofi has denied the newspaper report all along. And yesterday, Viehbacher told Bloomberg that the denial is "absolutely rock solid." The company chief said, “Sanofi has to have a strong presence in the U.S. but that doesn’t necessarily mean an acquisition."

While his competitors have been tying up mega-acquisitions in recent months, Viehbacher has declared his bias toward smaller, more targeted deals. As if to illustrate, Sanofi has snapped up the Mexican generics maker Laboratorios Kendrick and Brazilian drugs firm Medley, plus California's BiPar Sciences. And he's sticking to his story. "You can look at large acquisitions," he told Bloomberg, "but they've got to create value."

- read the Bloomberg piece
- see BNet Pharma's coverage 

ALSO: Sanofi has pledged to donate 100 million doses of its swine flu vaccine to developing countries, with 10 percent of its pandemic vaccine production going to poorer nations from the get-go. Report