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Sanofi confident can win Medivation shareholder support for bid

Sanofi said it was confident of winning the support of Medivation shareholders for a possible takeover of the U.S. cancer drug company as it reported higher quarterly profit, helped by its Genzyme unit.

The French drugmaker announced a $9.3 billion offer to buy Medivation on Thursday, setting up what could be a lengthy takeover battle after the target rebuffed its approaches.

An employee works on an influenza vaccines production line at the factory Sanofi Pasteur.
Charly Triballeau | AFP | Getty Images
An employee works on an influenza vaccines production line at the factory Sanofi Pasteur.

"We are confident that Medivation shareholders will ultimately share our strong belief that our offer (...) would provide significant and immediate cash value," Sanofi Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt said on a conference call.

Chief Financial Officer Jerome Contamine refused to say if Sanofi was ready to engage in a bidding war on the call.

Sanofi said first-quarter business net profit grew 3.5 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.72 billion euros ($1.96 billion), equivalent to a 0.2 percent drop on a reported basis.

Sales rose 0.7 percent at constant exchange rates to 8.54 billion euros, down 1.9 percent on a reported basis.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average been expecting business net profit of 1.7 billion euros and net sales of 8.73 billion.

The company also confirmed its full-year forecasts.

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