Genzyme Corp's chief executive has told Reuters that he is willing to sell the US biotech major to Sanofi-Aventis, but not for the $69 per share offered by the French drugmaker.

Genzyme rejected Sanofi's $18.50 billion takeover offer earlier this week but in an interview with the news agency, Henri Termeer said an amicable settlement can be reached. "I think a hostile situation is unlikely to occur here," he stated, claiming that "we need each other too much in terms of future value. It may well be that they go that way, but I would recommend against it if I were advising the other side because it is not the way to get this done."

He reiterated that the company "is not for sale at $69 a share" and "a deal will only get done when the strategic value of the company is properly recognised". Mr Termeer declined to say what he would consider a reasonable figure, though analysts have said that an offer of $75-$78 per share could swing it.

He added that he plans to embark on a "non-deal" roadshow later this month to ensure investors understand the value of the company and noted that "they are very reassured to see that the board is unanimous in rejecting this bid and they are very in tune with the value of the recovery we have in process." Mr Termeer also spoke about Sanofi's initial approach which came in the form of a phone call from the Paris-headquartered firm's chief executive Chris Viehbacher.

"It was a pleasant call," he said. "We know each other and it was not unpleasant. It is not unpleasant now."