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GEN News Highlights : Mar 16, 2012

GEN Readers Predict Roche’s Persistence in Pursuing Illumina Will Pay Off

Roche’s overtures to Illumina will eventually pay off with an agreement to buy the sequencing instrument maker. At least that’s how GEN online readers believe the corporate soap opera will play out, if a recent poll is any indication. Just over two-thirds of respondents (67.4%) said they expect the pharma giant to win over its reluctant acquisition target, while 23.5% expect Illumina to stand firm and resist Roche’s campaign. The remaining 9.1% were undecided.

In January, Roche went public with its $5.7 billion offer for Illumina, which responded by enacting a poison-pill shareholder rights plan. Roche fired back by nominating a slate of directors for election to Ilumina’s board. Embattled Illumina faced another challenge last month, when a group of its shareholders filed a putative class action against the company alleging that its directors breached their fiduciary duties and did not get the best price. Roche has shown it can hang in for the long run when it pursues companies, judging from its eventual acquisitions of Ventana and Genentech.