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Roche Extends Tender Offer Deadline to Acquire Illumina

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Roche this week said that it has extended its tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina. The offer had been scheduled to expire on Feb. 24, but is now set to expire on March 23.

Roche made a $5.7 billion hostile bid for Illumina in January to bolster its clinical sequencing capabilities with an offer of $44.50 per share (IS 1/31/2012), which Illumina rejected as "grossly inadequate" earlier this month (IS 2/14/2012). Roche has not increased its offer above the original $44.50 per share bid.

As of the end of day Feb. 24, the last business day prior to Roche's extension of its offer, more than 102,000 shares had been tendered, Roche said. Illumina has 122 million shares outstanding and its stock closed at $51.63 on Feb. 24.

Following the announcement of the extension, which was expected, Illumina issued a statement reaffirming its opinion that the offer "does not reflect Illumina's unique leadership position, business performance and future prospects."

Analyst David Ferreiro with Oppenheimer said in a research memo that he believes Roche will ultimately acquire Illumina and that Illumina's "ability to secure a higher bid is largely dependent on further elaboration of its developmental pipeline."

He added that an acquisition would help "smooth the transition" of Illumina's technology to the diagnostic market because of Roche's experience in the regulatory landscape.

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