French drug maker Sanofi Aventis’ board is split over whether to acquire U.S. pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb in a deal that could be worth $54 billion, London newspaper The Times reported.
The deal would create one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, but has run into difficulty due to a disagreement between Sanofi Chariman Jean-François Dehecq and CEO Gerard Le Fur.
There is a “significant difference” in tactics between the two men, which caused friction over the group’s direction, banking sources told The Times.
Dehecq favors a deal with Bristol-Myers , while Le Fur wants to focus on the company's internal drug research and development program, said The Times.
The disagreement seems to be influenced more by internal politics than strategic benefits, the paper said.
"It’s a question of ego rather than the timing of any deal," one banking source told The Times.