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Wednesday, Sep 08, 2004

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Top-level appointments mark Sanofi-Aventis post-acquisition scene

P.T. Jyothi Datta

Mumbai , Sept. 7

THE first significant signs of the global acquisition of Aventis by France's drug company Sanofi are emerging, with Sanofi-Aventis announcing the appointment of about hundred managers in more than 70 countries.

In India, Mr Alexandre de Carvalho has been appointed General Manager and will, in effect, be the Managing Director of the Indian entity, company officials said. Dr Shailesh Ayyangar will be in charge of the commercial operations.

Mr Carvalho was the Managing Director of Aventis India, since December 2003, while Dr Shailesh Ayyangar was Managing Director of Sanofi-Synthelabo (India), since April 2002.

Company officials told Business Line that internal integration committees had been set up in different countries, including India, to facilitate the smooth integration between the two countries.

"The integration committee comprises officials from both companies and they are expected to identify key management positions by the end of September to ensure that operations are fully integrated before the beginning of 2005," the official said.

Country heads would further decide upon where they would locate their local headquarters. More clarity on the integration and rationalisation of the workforces and products would emerge, after the internal committee is done with its process of identification.

However, industry watchers observe that there may not be too much of a shake-up in the Indian context — since the pre-acquisition profile of Sanofi was that of a marketing outfit in India, while Aventis had a manufacturing base here.

Meanwhile, at the global level, appointments have been made at different levels including managers of geographical zones, regional directors, general managers, heads of commercial operations and heads of product franchises in global marketing, according to a communiqué from Sanofi's parent company. Globally, Sanofi has, till date, acquired 95.47 per cent of Aventis' shares.

"The announcement of these appointments is an important step in the integration process and was been made possible by the active and constructive cooperation on the part of everyone concerned," the communiqué said.

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