$2B Stock Buyback for Genzyme

Xconomy Boston — 

Cambridge, MA-based biotech giant Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) announced today that its board voted to initiate a $2 billion stock repurchase plan to boost the stock price. The company plans to spend $1 billion to buy back shares in the near term, to finance the purchases with debt, and then spend another $1 billion in the next 12 months. The announcement also noted the company is pursuing “strategic alternatives” for its genetic testing, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical intermediates divisions, which could come in the form of spin-outs or management buyouts. The initiatives were outlined by the company shortly after Genzyme investor Carl Icahn has called for CEO Henri Termeer to be removed from the board in the wake of manufacturing problems at the company’s Allston site.