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Recently the entire concept of a successful "life sciences" company has been called into question. For example, Novartis which was formed from the merger of Sandoz and Ciba is apparently headed for a spin off of their AG business in order to concentrate on Pharmaceuticals. Daniel Vasella (CEO of Novartis) was recently quoted as saying that he no longer believes that there are profitable synergies between AG and Pharma. At the same time, the entire AG sector is down. Not just for Novartis but for other Life Science companies and AG companies as well. From your posting it's clear that you believe that the majority of the profits in Aventis will come from Pharma and I agree with you. So my question is: Is there any sense for Hoechst and Rhone Poulenc to still go ahead with their merger to form a Life Sciences company? Wouldn't it make more sense (if it is still possible at this late date) for both of them to spin off or sell their AG business and just merge the Pharma sectors? Or is there a possibility that they will spin off the AG sectors after the merger is complete?
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