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Zentiva rejects Sanofi Aventis bid

July 21, 2008
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The board of Czech generic drugs maker Zentiva N.V. has recommended that its shareholders reject a takeover offer from French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi-Aventis SA, the Associated Press reports. On July 11, Sanofi-Aventis, which already owns 24.9 percent of Zentiva, made a cash offer of 1,050 Czech koruna ($71.91) a share for the rest. That would value the Czech company at 40 billion koruna ($2.74 billion). Zentiva''s board said in a statement Friday that the offer was "not in the best interests of Zentiva, its shareholders and all its other stakeholders. The Sanofi-Aventis offer for Zentiva opened July 11 and runs until Sept. 19. Two years ago, Sanofi-Aventis bought its stake in Zentiva -- its first acquisition since the French company was formed out of the August 2004 takeover of Aventis by rival Sanofi-Synthelabo. Zentiva makes and sells generic drugs in Central and Eastern Europe, including products for pain, cardiovascular diseases and disorders of the central nervous system. In March, it agreed to buy a majority stake in the generic drug business of Turkey''s Eczacibasi for 460 million euros ($729 million). Zentiva recently rejected a 950 koruna per share takeover bid by Czech financial group PFF N.V. announced two month ago.
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