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Roche Extends Takeover Offer for Illumina at Same Price

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche has extended its $5.7 billion hostile takeover bid for Illumina for another month at the same price, the company said today.

Roche's offer for Illumina, at $44.50 per share, was set to expire on March 23. The company has now extended it to April 20 at 6 pm EDT, keeping all terms and conditions the same. This is the second time Roche has prolonged the offer, which originally expired Feb. 24.

The offer will now be valid until after Illumina's annual shareholder meeting on April 18. During that meeting, shareholders will elect four members of Illumina's board of directors and vote on a proposal by Roche to expand the board by two members. Roche hopes to fill all open board positions with its own candidates.

Roche said that 144,208 shares had been tendered as of March 23, including 102 shares guaranteed to be delivered within the next three Nasdaq trading days.

The company made its original bid to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina in cash on Jan. 27. Illumina's board unanimously rejected the offer in February, calling it "grossly inadequate," and has been urging its shareholders to vote against Roche's board nominees and board expansion plan.

Illumina issued a statement today after Roche extended its offer, saying, "Illumina is positioned to create far more value than Roche has offered. Our stockholders clearly agree."

In mid-morning trading today on the Nasdaq, shares of Illumina inched up 1 percent to $49.83.

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