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Sequenom Reaffirms $41M Offer for Exact

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Sequenom today said it plans to try to go ahead with its attempt to buy Exact Sciences for $1.50 a share, or around $41 million, in an all-stock transaction despite Exact's refusal on Monday to accept the offer, which Sequenom put forward at the end of last week.

Exact said its board agreed unanimously to decline the proposal, and said in a statement that it is "actively pursuing" an alternative that could better serve its shareholders.

Sequenom CEO Harry Stylii said in a statement today that his company was "disappointed" in Exact's refusal. He said the acquisition of Exact's colorectal cancer-screening technologies would allow Sequenom to hold "one of the most comprehensive noninvasive cancer diagnostic portfolios."

Stylii said his company is "concerned that Exact may enter into transactions which may not be in the best interest of its shareholders," and said his company will "immediately withdraw our offer" if Exact enters into any material outlicensing agreement.

Stylii explained that Sequenom is holding fast to its offer because it believes Exact "is essentially a shell with intellectual property assets, and [it] would be straightforward to assimilate the assets into our operations with minimal near-term cash outlay and execution risk to our current initiatives."

Exact also is "facing significant business challenges," Stylii added, explaining that his company's offer would enable Exact's shareholders to avoid possible delisting on the Nasdaq Capital Market, "uncertain prospects for future financing, the need for further restructuring, and significant execution risk."

The original purchase would have been a 69-percent premium on Exact Sciences stock price of $.89 a share on the day of the offer. This morning, Exact's stock was trading on the Nasdaq at $1.68 a share.

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