PARIS (Reuters) – Sanofi <SASY.PA> will raise over $11 billion from the sale of 21.6 million shares in its U.S. partner Regeneron <REGN.O>, the French drugmaker said on Wednesday, adding it would use the proceeds for innovation and general growth.

Earlier this week, Regeneron had said it would repurchase about $5 billion of its shares directly from Sanofi, without altering their over-a-decade-long partnership.

Sanofi is selling the Regeneron shares at $515.00 per share – a discount of around 5.5% to Regeneron’s closing price of $545.21 on May 26, and raising gross proceeds of $11.1 billion.

Sanofi will continue to own approximately 400,000 shares of Regeneron’s common stock.

Sanofi could end up raising $11.7 billion, if the underwriters on the deal exercise their option to buy up a further 1.2 million Regeneron shares.

The collaboration between Sanofi and Regeneron dates back to 2003 and has resulted in five approved treatments to date – including eczema drug Dupixent – with additional candidates in clinical development.

Investment banks Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley worked on Sanofi’s Regeneron stake sale.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kim Coghill)