Tokyo, London: Sanofi SA agreed to buy Bioverativ Inc, a spin-off from biotech giant Biogen Inc, for about $11.6 billion (Dh42.6 billion) in a bid by France’s biggest drugmaker to gain treatments for rare blood disorders.

The deal values haemophilia drugmaker Bioverativ at $105 a share, according to a statement Monday from Sanofi. That’s a 64 per cent premium over Friday’s closing price. Sanofi shares fell 2.6 per cent to €71.05 at 9.18am in Paris trading.

The acquisition is the biggest announced by Sanofi in seven years, and marks a return to deal-making by chief executive officer Olivier Brandicourt after failed efforts in 2016 to buy Medivation Inc and Actelion Ltd.

Sanofi is pursuing new products to offset declines for its best-selling insulin Lantus, which faces cheaper competitors, and other diabetes drugs as US health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers put pressure on prices.

Sanofi is the second diabetes heavyweight this year to seek a takeover to bulk up in blood disorders, a field that hasn’t suffered from a recent clampdown on prices. Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S this month made its largest takeover offer ever with an unsolicited €2.6 billion ($3.2 billion; Dh11.66 billion) bid for Belgium’s Ablynx NV, which developed a potential blockbuster for a rare blood clotting disease.

Sanofi’s deals

For Sanofi, the acquisition is the largest since its 2011 purchase of Genzyme Corp for about $20.1 billion, under former CEO Chris Viehbacher. Brandicourt, who took over in 2015, failed in a hostile bid for Medivation in 2016 and then lost out to Johnson & Johnson in the bidding for Actelion. Sanofi last year also swapped its Merial animal-health business, valued at €11.4 billion, for Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH’s €6.7 billion consumer-health operation. Boehringer also paid Sanofi €4.7 billion in cash.

Haemophilia patients

Bioverativ will give Sanofi access to haemophilia doctors and patients as it pushes forward with fitusiran, the experimental haemophilia therapy for which it acquired global rights this month.

The headwinds in diabetes could weigh on Sanofi’s profits this year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Sam Fazeli and Michael Shah.

Acquisitions are critical, and the agreed deal is a “step in the right direction” for the French drugmaker, Fazeli and Shah wrote in a note Monday. The transaction will also help Sanofi compete in the $10 billion global market for treating blood disorders with a new product from Roche Holding AG winning approval from US regulators last year.

Sanofi will invest in its consumer-health business and evaluate acquisition opportunities in the sector, Brandicourt said in November.