Sanofi-Aventis stock spiked this morning after rumors of a Pfizer buyout sparked a flurry of trading. The oil company Total does own 13 percent of Sanofi, and it has been looking to offload those shares. Pfizer was rumored to have approached Total four years ago, but that was before the Aventis merger boosted Sanofi's market cap to some $121 billion.
The rationale: Pfizer would buy Total's shares and use them as a foot in the door to an eventual buyout. L'Oreal owns another ten percent, and though it has said it's not interested in selling, that doesn't quell takeover talk. Neither Sanofi nor Pfizer would comment.
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