Sanofi-Aventis Completes Zentiva Deal

Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis paid $2.3 billion for the Czech pharmaceutical firm after an initial $2.13 billion takeover bid was rejected in July.

PARIS (AP) -- Sanofi-Aventis SA said its long-running effort to take over Czech pharmaceutical firm Zentiva N.V. was completed Wednesday, a deal it says will make it the world's 11th-largest generic drug manufacturer.

Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis said shareholders representing 70 percent of Zentiva's outstanding capital had tendered their shares in the offer that closed Feb. 20.

Including the shares it already owned, Sanofi-Aventis said it will hold 94 percent of Zentiva's capital following settlement on March 11.

Sanofi-Aventis began building its stake in Zentiva, which makes and sells generic drugs in Central and Eastern Europe, including products for pain, cardiovascular diseases and disorders of the central nervous system, more than two years ago.

The French firm's initial takeover bid of euro1.655 billion last June was rejected by Zentiva's management in July. Sanofi-Aventis finally won over Zentiva's executives with a higher euro1.8 billion (US$2.3 billion) offer in September.

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