French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis and US biotechnology group Genzyme are reportedly still in discussions over a get together but remain at loggerheads over the latter’s price tag.

The companies have long been rumoured to be in talks over a takeover, and according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites sources close to the situation, while discussions are indeed ongoing, “the two sides remain at odds about a ‘threshold’ price at which Sanofi could begin due diligence on Genzyme”.

The sources cited by the newspaper claim that the price has been one of the deal’s biggest sticking points, and that members of Genzyme’s board are not in the least bit impressed with sanofi-aventis’ alleged offer of $69 per share, which equates to about $18.4 billion.

They say an offer of around $75 a share from the Paris-France-headquartered group might tempt Genzyme into earnest negotiations for a takeover, but that a sale would probably only take place at around $80 a share, the WSJ reports.

While talks remain ‘friendly’ for now, there is growing speculation on whether sanofi’s move will become ‘hostile’ if agreement on price is not reached, but both companies are remaining tight-lipped on the rumours for now.