PARIS - A French drug maker announced today it wants to buy the more than 100-year-old Chattem Inc. of Chattanooga for about $1.9 billion in a cash deal.
Sanofi-Aventis SA said the transaction will lead to the creation of the world's fifth largest consumer health care company.
Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis said it will offer $93.50 per share to acquire 100 percent of Chattem, a Chattanooga, Tennessee based maker of consumer healthcare products such as Gold Bond skin care creams and Icy Hot pain relief medecine.
In a statement Sanofi-Aventis said it will launch its public tender offer for Chattem in January, and it expects to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2010.
Chattem's management will remain in place following the takeover, Sanofi-Aventis said.
Sanofi-Aventis said it would maintain both of Chattem's existing manufacturing facilities in Chattanooga and will continue construction on a third.
Last year Chattem had 488 employees and reported revenue of $455 million.
Chattem was founded as Chattanooga Medicine Co. It is currently carrying out a $35 million expansion of its Broad Street plant in Chattanooga.
See tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.