Roche Not Giving Up on Illumina - Analyst Blog


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Roche Holdings Ltd. ( RHHBY ) is not ready to give up yet in its constant endeavor to acquire Illumina Inc. ( ILMN ). Following a few setbacks over the past few months, Roche issued another letter to the shareholders of Illumina, where, among other proposals, it requested the latter to elect Roche's independent director nominees to Illumina's Board of Directors at the annual meeting scheduled on April 18, 2012.

We note that earlier this month, the Institutional Shareholder Services' ( ISS ) recommended Illumina shareholders against electing Roche's independent director nominees to Illumina's Board of Directors.

Since January, Roche has been trying to acquire Illumina, when it had first announced its bid to acquire all shares of Illumina at an offer price of $44.50 per share (aggregate value $5.7 billion) in cash. Then, on February 27, Roche extended the time-period for its bid to March 23 from February 24, 2012. In March, Roche further extended the time period for acquiring all outstanding shares of Illumina to April 20, 2012, from the previously announced date (March 23, 2012).

Additionally, in the last week of March, Roche increased its offer price for Illumina shares to $51.00 (aggregate value $6.7 billion) from $44.50 a share, while the other terms and conditions of the deal remained unchanged. Illumina rejected Roche's offer, following which Roche issued a second letter to Illumina's shareholders, in the beginning of April, requesting them to tender their shares to Roche for $51.00 a share.

Roche believes that this acquisition will strengthen its position in the sequencing and microarrays market. Moreover, it will help address the growing demand for genetic/genomic solutions.

We currently have a Zacks #4 Rank (short-term Sell rating) on Roche.

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