Sanofi sticks to $69 per share Genzyme offer

A sign marks the headquarters of Genzyme in Cambridge, Massachusetts August 3, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SASY.PA poured cold water on reports it had raised its offer for Genzyme GENZ.O, saying it was sticking to its bid of $18.5 billion, or $69 per share.

“There is one offer, at $69 a share,” spokeman Jean-Marc Podvin said on Thursday.

“No other offer has been made to or discussed with the Genzyme board, its management or shareholders.”

He reiterated Sanofi wanted to enter into constructive dialogue with Genzyme to best serve its interests.

DealReporter, a financial news service affiliated with the Financial Times Group, said on Wednesday Sanofi had pitched a new offer, at $71 a share, to buy Genzyme in return for the opportunity to conduct “partial due diligence. DealReporter, cited a source close to the discussions.

Questions remain about what price would be high enough for Genzyme to open its books for Sanofi to clearly assess where the maker of rare disease drugs stands in solving its manufacturing problems following plant contamination.

Last week, Genzyme Chief Executive Henri Termeer told Reuters that $69 was not a reasonable starting point for a deal, but declined to specify what price would warrant Genzyme giving Sanofi a closer look.

Editing by David Cowell