Sanofi Aventis 'not interested in buying Altana'

Pharmaceutical Company Restructures

Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company, is not interested in buying Altana Pharma AG, the German pharmaceutical company.

Altana, which produces therapeutics, imaging products and over-the-counter medicines was thought to be coveted by some larger pharmaceutical companies. However, Sanofi-Aventis' chairman and chief executive officer, Jean-Francois Dehecq, has ruled out any bid for Altana.

Mr Dehecq is quoted by AFX as telling the German finance publication WirstschaftsWoche: "There are currently neither talks nor negotiations with Altana. We are market leaders in Germany and it is not on our priority list to strengthen our position in this difficult market."

Despite this, the Sanofi-Aventis chief said his company would not dismiss the possibility of future acquisitions - so long as it is the right deal.

He said: "Many companies will get into trouble, or have already run into problems. Naturally that creates opportunities to look more closely at them."

"And in the past we have proven that we seize favourable opportunities," he added.

Altana's products include pantoprazole for treatment of inflammation of oesophagus and gastric ulcers, as well as Alvesco for respiratory tract inflammation, Ebrantil for high blood pressure and Riopan, a stomach antacid.

The company's UK headquarters are in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The global Altana Pharma group employs over 7,500 people spread across 30 subsidiaries.

© Adfero Ltd

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