Illumina's Jay Flatley tells the story of his 2011 meeting with Roche in a video from Biocom's Speaker Series posted by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
In 2011, Illumina's stock price fell from the $70-a-share to $60-a-share range to about $24 a share, and that, Flatley says, was the impetus for Roche to come calling.
"I got a call from the CEO of Roche and he said, 'We'd like to have a meeting with you and your chairman,'" he says in the video. "We did that at Bill Rastetter's house down at the beach. It lasted about 40 minutes. And about three minutes in he said, 'Well, we're going to acquire your company.' And I said, 'Really?'"
According to Flatley, Roche wanted to do it in a friendly manner and they discussed what the company had in mind. Illumina, though, rejected their overtures, and the takeover bid turned hostile. Initially, Illumina was offered $44.50 a share, which was then upped to $51 a share. Roche ended its bid some three months later.
In other videos from the talk, Flatley discusses the company's early days as well as his worries about keeping the company well positioned to stay in the lead five years and longer down the line.