Guerry sees more growth at Chattanooga-based Chattem

Guerry sees more growth at Chattanooga-based Chattem

December 21st, 2009 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Chattem Inc. chief executive Zan Guerry said today that French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-aventis is investing nearly $2 billion in the Chattanooga-based firm to grow both its U.S. and Chattanooga presence.

"It's going to be a win for our community," Mr. Guerry said in an interview. "We will be bigger, more jobs."

Mr. Guerry also said the deal will mean having more resources and technology at the disposal of Chattem, which intends to keep its name.

"We've done pretty well. We haven't had, versus our competitors, some of the technology," he said.

Chattem met with first shift employees today to unveil the deal in which Sanofi-aventis is buying the maker of such consumer products as Gold Bond lotions and shampoo Selsun Blue for $1.9 billion in cash.

Sanofi-aventis, which is the maker of such products as the antihistamine brand Allegra, plans to use Chattem as a platform to grow its U.S. presence.

While having a big market in Europe, Russia, and Brazil, it intends to grow its over-the-counter consumer products business in the United States.

The deal is expected to close in early 2010, officials said.

Sanofi-aventis plans to offer $93.50 per share for Chattem, a 34 percent premium above Friday's closing price.

See tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.