May 10, 2017 / 3:10 PM / 2 months ago

Sanofi says has no 'absolute need' to do acquisitions

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FILE PHOTO - French multinational pharmaceutical company SANOFI logo seen at their headquaters in Paris, France, March 8, 2016.Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi (SASY.PA) is currently looking at several external growth opportunities, after having failed to clinch two large deals recently, but feels it has no urgent need to make acquisitions, the drugmaker's chairman told shareholders on Wednesday.

"There is a certain number of targets that we are looking at and if we think there are indeed transactions that can be achieved, we will consider them," Sanofi's Board Chairman Serge Weinberg said during the French company's annual meeting in Paris.

"However, there is no 'absolute necessity' to conduct these transactions. The group's (internal) dynamic is satisfactory," he added.

Sanofi is under some pressure from investors to land a significant acquisition in order to better resist a tough pricing environment in the United States, the world's largest health market.

The group missed out to U.S Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) on buying Switzerland's biotech Actelion in January - a $30 billion deal - and was also beaten in August last year by a $14 billion bid for cancer specialist Medivation from Pfizer (PFE.N).

Weinberg refused to spell out details on Wednesday but said that innovative products were mostly located in Europe and the United States and that Sanofi had a lot of "flexibility" financially.

"At the same time, we will be disciplined (financially)," Weinberg said.

Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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