Genzyme Corp has announced plans to initiate a $2bn stock buyback and is considering selling off non-core business in an effort to appease investors and increase value.
Genzyme will buy back $1bn of stock in the near term financed with debt and the additional $1bn will be repurchased during the next 12 months.
The company said it is also planning strategic alternatives for its genetic testing, diagnostic products and pharmaceutical intermediates businesses, which could result in divestiture, spin-out, or management buy-out.
These near-term initiatives are part of a five-point plan for shareholder value creation outlined by chairman and CEO Henri Termeer who said that the businesses no longer fit within the company strategy.
“Genetics and diagnostics are strong businesses that are both leaders in their fields. However, as we evaluated our need to deliver sustainable growth and stronger returns on invested capital, it became clear that these businesses do not fit,” Termeer said.
The unit’s on the chopping block include Genzyme Genetics, one of the largest providers of reproductive and cancer testing in the US, Genzyme’s diagnostics unit that makes cholesterol testing kits and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures chemically synthesised pharmaceutical materials and technologies and includes a manufacturing plant in Liestal, Switzerland.