Roche Just Can’t Take the Hint on Illumina Bid

Roche has extended its hostile takeover offer for Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) for a second time, giving shareholders until April 20 to tender their stock at $44.50 a share. The $5.7 billion offer had been set to expire on March 23.

Investors at Illumina’s annual meeting on April 18 will decide whether to oust four directors and replace them with six Roche nominees, which would clear the way for talks between the two sides. However, rejecting Roche’s choices wouldn’t necessarily put an end to the bid.

Illumina has in the past dismissed Roche’s offer and refused to negotiate, urging shareholders to re-elect existing board members. Roche hasn’t upped its original bid, despite Illumina’s claims the number is too low.

Shareholders had tendered only 0.1 percent of Illumina’s outstanding stock by the March 23 deadline. “Illumina’s board of directors continues to believe that Roche’s offer is grossly inadequate, and that Illumina is positioned to create far more value than Roche has offered,” Illumina said in a statement today. “Our stockholders clearly agree.”

Roche announced its hostile bid on January 25, going directly to shareholders after Illumina rejected its offer. Illumina recommended on February 8 that shareholders also reject the initial offer, which Chairman William Rastetter and CEO Jay Flatley said was “blatantly opportunistic.”

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