December 10, 2014 / 8:50 AM / 5 years ago

Sanofi to continue diversification, eyes acquisitions -Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Sanofi’s new CEO will continue its strategy of diversifying beyond new drug development, possibly through acquisitions, the French drugmaker’s interim chief executive said.

“We want to have businesses like consumer healthcare, veterinary medicine and vaccines that are less strongly driven by innovation but grow continuously and are more stable,” German daily Handelsblatt quoted Serge Weinberg as saying in an interview published on Wednesday.

He said if there were opportunities, Sanofi would be “prepared and able” to make acquisitions in those areas, without being more specific.

Weinberg said, though, that Sanofi was not interested in German peer Bayer’s diabetes device business.

Sanofi’s board sacked Chris Viehbacher, CEO of six years, in October blaming his solitary management style and poor execution of the firm’s strategy. Weinberg was instrumental in the move and has since filled the role on a temporary basis.

One of Viehbacher’s projects had been to sell a portfolio of older drugs that sources said at the time could fetch $7-8 billion.

“We do not think that would be a good idea,” Weinberg told Handelsblatt.

Asked how much progress Sanofi had made in its search for a new CEO, he said: “That is a very important decision that we do not want to rush. But it should not take another half year until we can announce a new CEO.” (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by David Clarke)

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