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IP/11/31

Brussels, 12 January 2011

Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Genzyme by Sanofi-Aventis

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of US-based biotech company Genzyme by French-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis having concluded that the transaction would not significantly reduce competition in Europe.

The European Commission has granted regulatory clearance under the Merger Regulation for the proposed acquisition of US-biotechnology company Genzyme Corporation by Sanofi-Aventis SA having concluded that the deal would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area ("EEA") or any substantial part of it.

Sanofi-Aventis is globally active in the development, production, distribution and marketing of pharmaceuticals, human vaccines, and animal health products. Genzyme is active in the research, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals, in particular biotechnology products used in the treatment of rare genetic diseases, cardiometabolic and renal diseases, biosurgery and hematologic oncology and multiple sclerosis. It is also operating worldwide.

In August 2010, Sanofi-Aventis made a non-binding offer for the capital of Genzyme and commenced the tender in October. The takeover bid was notified to the Commission on 29 November 2010 pursuant to EU merger rules even though the majority of Genzyme shareholders have yet to pronounce themselves on the offer. The Commission's competition assessment is without prejudice to whether the proposed transaction goes ahead.

The Commission's examination has shown that the proposed transaction would not lead to significant combined market shares in the product categories where the parties' activities overlap. In addition, the proposed transaction also does not raise concerns in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, where both parties are developing treatments. In all cases there will remain d a sufficient number of other credible competitors.

More information on the case will be available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/index/m111.html#m_5999


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