Henri Termeer (photo) isn't totally opposed to selling Genzyme. He's opposed to Sanofi-Aventis' $69-per-share, $18.5 billion bid. That's the word in several media interviews. "The company is not for sale at $69 a share," Termeer tells Reuters. "What the shareholders deserve is a fair value," he said in a Bloomberg interview.
To hear Termeer read the tea leaves, Sanofi will eventually recognize that value--and the deal will get done via negotiations, not a hostile bid. "I think a hostile situation is unlikely to occur here," he explains to Reuters. "We need each other too much in terms of future value."
Indeed. Sanofi will need buy-in from Genzyme's leadership to make an acquisition pay off; the French drugmaker may have the manufacturing expertise to help effect Genzyme's ongoing manufacturing overhaul, but key managers and employee morale are important, too. And Termeer sounds as if he's looking to cap off his career in style: If he has to go out with a big M&A deal, then it had better be the biggest possible.