Rhone/Hoechst drug deal close
Monday 16 November 1998
Speculation that the two companies may unite has pushed their shares ahead recently and an announcement is thought possible this week.
Rhone-Poulenc has been searching for a partner for some time to take on the likes of Merck, the world's biggest drugs company, Glaxo Wellcome and Novartis, itself the result of a merger of two companies.
A merger between the French company and Hoechst would create a combined business with drugs sales of $13bn. It would be bigger than Zeneca, which is valued at pounds 22bn, but still dwarfed by Glaxo-Wellcome, which is capitalised at pounds 66bn.
Hoechst is valued at pounds 16bn and makes the allergy drug Allegra. It employs several thousand people in Britain and owns a range of businesses including the drugs company Arthur H Cox, HPG Industrial Coatings and RV Chemicals.
Rhone-Poulenc is valued at pounds 10bn and is the world's number one manufacturer of vaccines. Three years ago it acquired Fisons for pounds 1.8bn after a hostile bid battle.
Hoechst is the world's ninth biggest drugs company while Rhone-Poulenc is number seventeen. Analysts said a merger would enable them to pool research and development budgets and improve their pipeline of new drugs. It would also give them greater marketing clout against the likes of Glaxo- Wellcome and Novartis.
But observers also pointed to the tension that could arise over who would run the Franco-German group. Based on market capitalisation, Hoechst would be the dominent partner in any merger.
However, one source close to the French company said: "Unless Rhone-Poulenc is in the driving seat, I can't see it happening. It won't want to take second place to Hoechst, even though it is the smaller of the two."
Hoechst is being advised by Lazard Freres while NM Rothschild is advising the French company.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...