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After weeks of speculation, Sanofi-Synthélabo has launched--with the support of the French government--a hostile bid to acquire its larger rival Aventis SA for €48.3bn ($60bn)--19% in cash and 81% in stock. Sanofi claims the combined pharmaco--which would be ranked the third-largest worldwide in global sales--would have one of the largest R&D budgets in the industry (at €4bn) and would feature a pipeline of almost 60 late-stage candidates. Its therapeutic focus would include cardiovascular/thrombosis, CNS, oncology, diabetes, and urology.
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