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Monday, January 31, 2011

REFILE-Genzyme opens books to Sanofi in takeover talks, (NASDAQ: GENZ), (SASY)

U.S. biotechnology company Genzyme Corp (GENZ.O) agreed to open its books to French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA), a sign that the two sides may be closer to consummating a merger. The companies, which have been discussing ways to value Genzyme for several weeks, said on Monday they had struck a nondisclosure agreement because Genzyme will be sharing certain nonpublic information with Sanofi. Genzyme previously rejected Sanofi's hostile takeover offer of $18.5 billion, or $69 a share. The companies have since discussed a potentially higher bid, including a possible payout for Genzyme's experimental multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada.