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Zentiva accepts higher Sanofi takeover offer

Czech generics drugs maker Zentiva has accepted a higher takeover offer from French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis that values Zentiva at around €1.8 billion, Sanofi said.

Sanofi said it had raised its offer to 1,150 Czech crowns ($69.32) per share. This represents a premium of around 6% to Zentiva's closing share price of 1,085 crowns on Friday. Zentiva had rejected an earlier bid by Sanofi.

Sanofi's planned acquisition of Zentiva takes it deeper into the field of generic drug production, an area which has previously been shunned by large pharmaceutical companies but is now receiving increased interest as a way to tap booming emerging markets.

Sanofi shares closed at €47.56 on Friday, giving the company a market capitalization of around €62.5 billion. Sanofi shares have fallen around 24% since the start of the year, in line with a similar decline in France's benchmark CAC-40 index. (Reuters)