Sanofi-Aventis has decided to sell its stake in Rhodia, the chemicals company formally part of Rhone-Poulenc, ending a long-running and sometimes bitter wrangle between the two companies.
Franch bank BNP has taken over Sanofi’s 8% holding in Rhodia and made the shares available on the market almost immediately, although the price raised by Sanofi was not disclosed. A Reuters report estimated that amount raised was in the order of 190 million euros ($240m).
Rhodia was spun off as a separate chemicals entity by Rhone-Poulenc when it merged with German company Hoechst to form Aventis. In 2004, Aventis hooked up with Sanofi-Synthelabo to form the new company.
Last year, Rhodia filed suit against Sanofi asking for 570 million euros in compensation, saying that it had been left holding environmental liabilities and retirement costs that had not been factored into their original agreement. But a few weeks ago an industrial tribunal in France rejected the chemical company’s demands.