Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) is reportedly having a dilemma in fulfilling a divestiture proposed by Olivier Brandicourt, Sanofi’s newly-seated CEO. The drugmaker is currently having difficulties in deciding which assets shall be included in the sale process.
The divestment was supposed to begin this quarter but with the decision-making process taking too long, it may be delayed until early 2017. The details regarding the delay are limited since deliberations are considered private matter. According to people familiar with it, the French pharmaceutical company is weighing on selling all of its generics businesses worldwide, asset swap, or joint venture. Sanofi is also considering retaining its assets.
Brandicourt’s Strategic Options
Brandicourt revealed his new strategic measures in November. The options were meant to help Sanofi cope with the poor sales performance. His plans included the possibility of selling or spinning off European generics and Merial Animal Health businesses and simultaneously cutting costs up to €1.50 billion. The income generated from the efforts will be used to invest in Research and Development. According to the pharmaceutical company during that time, market complexities are generally increasing in the European region.
Following the announcement of Brandicourt, Sanofi said that it is in talks to trade Merial Animal Health with additional €4.70 billion in cash for the consumer healthcare business of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. The deal amounts to approximately €22.80 billion.
Global Generics Unit
Sanofi’s generics unit, Zentiva, operates 50 markets around the world. The business is at its strongest in Romania, Turkey, and Czech Republic with main manufacturing plants located in eastern and central Europe. Zentiva produces the former best-seller blood-thinner Plavix and the hypertension drug Aprovel, two of Sanofi’s drugs that have lost patent protection.
The drugs under Zentiva generated about €1.9 billion last year. Sanofi acquired the generics unit for $2.60 billion in 2008.
Last month, Brandicourt said that there are various options for the European generics business of Sanofi but he refused to give further details. He, however, assured that a decision will be made within 12 months, giving the company ample time to come up with a strategy that shall satisfy the long-term goals of Sanofi.