The acquisition of Aventis by Sanofi: Attack as defense
This is a combined version of the four-part case series. The year 2004 started with a bombshell for the mergers and acquisitions sector: On 24 January rumours emerged of an imminent takeover bid by Sanofi-Synthelabo to the shareholders in Aventis. On 25 April the first hostile takeover in the history of the pharmaceuticals sector was completed. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sanofi and future CEO of Sanofi-Aventis, Jean-Francois Dehecq, commented ‚I had a very strong feeling that if we didn’t do this deal now then one of our international competitors would have bought either Aventis or Sanofi‘. The aim of this case is to describe an entire merger and acquisition process, against the background of a pharmaceuticals industry undergoing highly dynamic competition and consolidation. The case is outlined in the form of the chronological activity of the actual takeover battle, from the first rumours through to integration, in four phases: (1) from the attack by Sanofi-Synthelabo, which the management of Aventis initially considered as hostile; (2) via the battle for Aventis; (3) to the ultimately amicable unification of the two companies; and (4) the integration of Sanofi-Aventis.
At The Case Centre you can either order or download the Case Study and Teaching Note as inspection copy: