Thu, Jan 26, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Roche makes ‘unsolicited offer’ for US firm Illumina

AFP, PARIS

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche yesterday announced it had launched a takeover bid for Illumina, a US company that specializes in life sciences.

Roche said it had made “multiple efforts” to start talks with Illumina to negotiate a deal, but the US firm had not been willing to enter “substantive discussions.”

“Roche has therefore decided to promptly commence a tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Illumina for US$44.50 per share in cash,” a company statement said.

This offer was “full and fair value” for the company, Roche chief executive Severin Schwan said in a statement.

“It is our strong preference to enter into a negotiated transaction with Illumina, and we remain willing to engage in a constructive dialogue with Illumina to jointly develop an optimal strategy for maximizing the value of our combined business,” Schwan added.

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The statement said that the offer represented a 64 percent premium over Illumina’s stock price on Dec. 21 last year and put the value of the San Diego-based company at US$5.7 billion.

A brief statement from Illumina acknowledged that Roche had made an “unsolicited offer” for the company.

It said the board of directors would “thoroughly review” the proposal and make a recommendation “in due course,” adding that it had asked share holders to take no action in the meantime.

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