The formation of a 2004 merger between Aventis and Sanofi-Synthélabo (following a hostile bid by the former), the firm has enjoyed huge growth trends in its position as prescription drug developer and distributor. In 2009 profits sat at a fairly significant €5.265bn. In 2010, the firm declared its intentions to further expand research capabilities by signing a cooperation agreement with Charite University of Berlin to pursue further investigations into developments both in medicines and therapies. Following successful diversification over the last twelve months, the French firm has been able to offer shareholders good news, with excellent profit margins once again so far this year.