Sanofi, Zentiva in $2.6B buyout

Sanofi-Aventis finally has its deal with Zentiva. The French drugmaker offered a higher price for the Czech company it's been pursuing, and Zentiva said yes. At a share price of 1,150 Czech crowns, it's a buyout that values Zentiva at $2.6 billion. Previously, Sanofi had offered 1,050 crowns per share.

The buyout will beef up Sanofi's generics capability at a time when more and more patients are opting for the cheaper meds--and when more and more drugmakers are turning to copycat makers as a way to not only recoup losses when branded drugs go off patent, but to capture a bigger share of emerging markets.

The wild-and-crazy equity markets last week may have helped push Zentiva toward the pair-up. "We believe that the improved offer represents attractive value for Zentiva's shareholders," said CEO Jiri Michal, who'll stay on as chief after the merger. "Especially in light of the current market turbulence."

- get the Zentiva release
- read the story from the Globe and Mail
- check out the MarketWatch article