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SEC Investigating Illumina Over Grail Acquisition

NEW YORK – Illumina disclosed on Thursday after the close of the market that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the firm over its $8 billion acquisition of Grail.

In its quarterly filing with the SEC, San Diego-based Illumina said that it received a letter last month informing it of the investigation and a request for "documents and communications primarily related to Illumina's acquisition of Grail and certain statements and disclosures concerning Grail, its products, and its acquisition, and related to the conduct and compensation of certain members of Illumina and Grail management, among other things."

How long the investigation has been active isn't clear. Illumina declined to provide additional comment. The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Illumina said it is cooperating with the SEC.

The investigation is the latest headache for the firm triggered by its decision to close the deal in 2021, despite opposition from competition regulators in both the US and Europe. Last month, the European Commission handed down a fine of €432 million ($471 million) for gun-jumping. The Grail acquisition also led to a battle for seats on the board of directors, led by activist investor Carl Icahn, which ousted ex-Chairman John Thompson and likely spurred the departure of former CEO Francis deSouza.

Illumina reported Wednesday afternoon that its second quarter revenues were flat year over year as the company slashed 2023 revenue and earnings per share guidance in the face of a difficult rollout of its new NovaSeq X high-throughput sequencer.