Sanofi shops for more Genzyme financing

Word on the street is that Sanofi-Aventis has been lining up more financing to boost its $18.5 billion bid for Genzyme. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sanofi--which already has secured financing from J.P. Morgan Chase, Société Générale and BNP Paribas--has approached some other big funding sources, such as Citigroup and Bank of America.

The aim is to have enough cash at its disposal to support a higher price for the reluctant Boston biotech. The only trouble is, as the WSJ reminds us, Sanofi doesn't have any idea how much higher it needs to go with its preliminary bid. And presumably, until it gets access to Genzyme's books--and unless it likes what it finds--Sanofi won't offer a price that's as high as it's ever prepared to pay.

All Sanofi will say to this is that its $69-per-share offer still stands--beyond that, no comment for the press. But sources close to the deal are telling the WSJ that the French drugmaker is mulling a small price hike--a few dollars per share--to at least attract Genzyme to the negotiating table. "No other offer has been made," Sanofi spokesman Jean-Marc Podvin tells Reuters. "We would like to enter into a dialogue."

But is Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer (photo) going to be receptive, even to a higher price? That's the multibillion-dollar question. The Boston Globe reports today that, notwithstanding Termeer's public willingness to make a deal, he's just not interested in selling. "Henri never would want to sell the company," a former Genzyme exec tells the newspaper. 

- see the Journal piece
- get more from Reuters
- check out the Globe story