Sanofi on Monday announced plans to sell its equity investment in Regeneron through a public offering and related $5-billion share repurchase by Regeneron. According to the companies, Sanofi currently holds approximately 23.2 million Regeneron shares, representing about 20.6% ownership, and intends to sell some 12.8 million shares in the offering.
The transactions will not affect the ongoing partnership between the companies, which began in 2003. Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said the sale would help the French drugmaker "execute on our strategy to drive innovation and growth," but that it "remains committed to continuing our collaboration with Regeneron, which remains an integral part of our overall strategy."
In December, Sanofi announced that it would end R&D into new diabetes and heart disease drugs, helping save €2 billion ($2.4 billion) by 2022, to focus on areas such as oncology and vaccines. The company and Regeneron later restructured their existing antibody collaboration for the IL-6 receptor antibody Kevzara (sarilumab) and the PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent (alirocumab) into a royalty-based agreement.
Sanofi and Regeneron are also partnered on Dupixent (dupilumab), which the French drugmaker estimates will eventually bring in peak sales of more than €10 billion ($11.1 billion), and was not affected by the restructuring.
Meanwhile, Regeneron said it would fund the share buyback with a combination of $3.5 billion of cash on hand and $1.5 billion of financing. In their latest move, Sanofi and Regeneron are testing Kevzara in patients with COVID-19.
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