Sanofi-Aventis to buy Genzyme in $20.1 bln deal

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PARIS (AP) - French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA has agreed to buy Genzyme Corp. in an all-cash deal that values the U.S. biotechnology company at $20.1 billion.

Sanofi-Aventis said Wednesday it has also agreed to make additional cash payments to Genzyme shareholders contingent on the success of several of the Cambridge, Massachusetts company’s drugs.

The announcement ends nearly nine months of back and forth between the two companies, with Sanofi-Aventis finally deciding Genzyme’s portfolio of rare disease treatments was worth stumping up an extra five dollars a share to its original $69 per share offer.

The boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close early in the second quarter, Sanofi-Aventis said in a statement.

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