sanofi-aventisSanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) has successfully completed its exchange offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ).

The exchange offer and withdrawal rights expired at 11:59 p.m, New York City time, on April 1, 2011. The depositary for the exchange offer has advised sanofi-aventis that, as of the expiration time, 224,528,469 shares of Genzyme common stock (including 43,285,259 shares subject to guarantees of delivery) were validly tendered and not withdrawn. That represents approximately 84.6% of Genzyme's outstanding shares of common stock and approximately 77.0% of the shares on a fully-diluted basis, giving sanofi-aventis control of Genzyme. All shares that were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn have been accepted for purchase, and payment for such shares will be made promptly in accordance with the terms of the exchange offer at the offer price of $74.00 in cash, without interest and less any required withholding taxes, and one contingent value right per share. The CVRs have been listed on the NASDAQ stock market under the ticker symbol "GCVRZ" and will begin trading today.

To allow remaining Genzyme shareholders the opportunity to tender their shares, sanofi-aventis has also announced the opening of a subsequent offer period beginning today, April 4, 2011, as contemplated by the merger agreement. The subsequent offer period will expire at 6:00 p.m., New York City time on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Through the acquisition, Genzyme will become an important new platform in sanofi-aventis' sustainable growth strategy and expand the company's presence in biotechnology. Sanofi-aventis is making Genzyme its global center for excellence in rare diseases and the acquisition will reinforce sanofi-aventis' commitment to the greater Boston area, where it already has a sizeable presence.

"The addition of Genzyme represents an important milestone in sanofi-aventis’ sustainable growth strategy by adding a meaningful new growth platform and expanding our footprint in biotechnology," said Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis. "Combined, our two companies will bring tremendous expertise, commitment and resources to biotechnology, particularly in rare diseases, along with similar cultural traits, including patient-centric missions and strong commitments to the communities we serve. Already, we are making progress on the tremendous opportunities that are possible by bringing these two companies together through the integration process, which is progressing well and remains on track."

"The process we have started with sanofi-aventis has confirmed the enormous opportunities that exist by combining our two companies," said Henri A. Termeer, outgoing Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Genzyme Corporation. “This moment is a catalyst for change within both organizations, and we are developing an exciting vision for a future together that draws on what is best about each company. In the future, Genzyme will remain a vibrant organization, meeting the need for innovative treatments that change the lives of patients with serious diseases."

During the subsequent offering period, sanofi-aventis will accept for exchange, and promptly exchange, validly tendered shares of Genzyme common stock. Genzyme shareholders who validly tender their shares during the subsequent offering period will receive the same $74.00 in cash, without interest and less any required withholding taxes, and one contingent value right per share that was payable to shareholders who tendered their shares during the initial offering period. Procedures for tendering shares during the subsequent offering period are the same as during the initial offering period with two exceptions: Shares cannot be delivered by the guaranteed delivery procedure and pursuant to Rule 14d-7(a)(2) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, shares validly tendered during the subsequent offering period will be accepted for exchange on a daily, "as tendered" basis and, accordingly, may not be withdrawn.

After the subsequent offering period, sanofi-aventis intends to effect a short-form merger as permitted by Massachusetts law after exercising its top-up option under the merger agreement, if necessary. Genzyme will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of sanofi-aventis upon closing of the merger. As a result of the merger, any shares of Genzyme common stock not tendered in the exchange offer or during the subsequent offering period will be cancelled and (except for shares held by sanofi-aventis, Genzyme and their subsidiaries) converted into the right to receive the same $74.00 per share in cash and one contingent value right, per share, paid in the exchange offer.

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT : SAN) and in New York (NYSE : SNY).