Sanofi looks to slow down on dealmaking

Don't look for Sanofi-Aventis to continue its dealmaking pace in the coming months. In fact, don't look for Sanofi-Aventis at all. It's Sanofi now, just Sanofi, and the French drugmaker will have its hands full incorporating the newly acquired Genzyme into its fold.

CEO Christopher Viehbacher (photo) made the acquisition comments during Sanofi's annual meeting, where shareholders approved the name change proposed last month. The longer, compound name was difficult to pronounce in several languages, the company said, including China, which is one of pharma's new promised lands.

The only deals Viehbacher intends to consider now are M&A in emerging markets--where that easier-to-pronounce name will come in handy--and in animal health, Reuters reports. "[Sanofi] will continue to make acquisitions in emerging countries," Viehbacher said, "but we have a lot of things to do to make sure the [Genzyme] integration is smooth, so we will slow down acquisitions a bit."

Sanofi wrapped up its $20 billion deal for the U.S.-based Genzyme last month. It was by far the biggest deal of Viehbacher's term as CEO. Since the former GlaxoSmithKline executive took the reins at Sanofi, the company has made a string of bite-sized deals in consumer health, emerging markets, generics and more. Genzyme, however, is a full meal, and will take time to digest.

- read the Sanofi release
- see the news from Reuters