Back off, media, until we get our ducks in a row. That's what Solvay says in a statement issued to employees and the press yesterday. It's a lengthy memo, complete with company history, leaving the most newsworthy stuff till last. And that's where the company admits it's considering its "strategic options"--but hastens to add that the "status quo" is one of those options, and until it makes up its mind, it doesn't want reporters butting in, thank you.
Other options? Look for companies or products to buy. Go public. Partner with another company. And--as the media has been reporting--sell, namely its pharmaceutical unit, though Solvay doesn't come out and say that pharma is the piece that could be up for grabs, only that its "strategic assessment is most important in the Pharmaceutical sector."
As you know, rumors were flying some time back that Sanofi-Aventis had approached Solvay shareholders about making a deal for the pharma unit. Solvay rushed to quash the talk--and the new statement doesn't depart from that stand. "It is unfortunate that speculation in the media created distraction during this process," the company announced. "We will continue our assessment in a professional manner, calmly and objectively with only the long-term interests of the Group and its people in mind." Duly noted.
- read the Solvay statement