Sanofi plans to cut jobs in Europe -paper

PARIS, March 8 Tue Mar 8, 2011 1:55am EST

PARIS, March 8 (Reuters) - Sanofi Aventis (SASY.PA) plans a reorganisation of its European activities that could lead to 700 job cuts, La Tribune reported on Tuesday.

The reshuffle is part of a strategic plan called Transforming which was launched by the French drugmaker in 2009, the newspaper added, citing a union source.

"In total the French company will only hold 10 European subsidiaries, compared with more than 30 at present," the newspaper said.

Under the project, Sanofi would merge its activities in Benelux into a regional platform. Activities in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom may also be reorganized, La Tribune said.

A Sanofi spokesman refused on Tuesday to confirm how many people would be laid off but said the company was reorganizing units.

On Monday, the French drugmaker said it had extended its offer for all outstanding shares of U.S. biotech Genzyme GENZ.O until April 1 from March 16. [ID:nWEA6784] (Reporting by Matthias Blamont. Additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Mike Nesbit)