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The Best Defense Is a Good Offense: Sanofi's Bid for Aventis

Executive Summary

Sanofi's attempt to take over Aventis reflects its own status as takeover material for other companies, particularly after it loses the protection of its current shareholder structure. But it is also convinced that its highly productive R&D organization can make much better use of Aventis' R&D expenditures than Aventis has done. Nonetheless, Sanofi, which has been limited in the past by its Franco-centrism, particularly in the key American market, must use the transaction to transform the company into a far more internationally managed and culturally diverse organization. Indeed, for all the European flavor of this deal, it portends an even greater Americanization of the drug business.

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