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Roche raises hostile bid for US Illumina

30 march 2012, 15:06
 Roche CEO Severin Schwan. ©REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Roche CEO Severin Schwan. ©REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche raised its hostile bid for US gene mapper Illumina to $51 a share on Thursday, in a new offer valuing the company at around $6.55 billion, AFP reports.

The new price is 15 percent higher than the $44.50 per share offered earlier that valued the company at $5.7 billion.

Illumina issued a statement asking its shareholders to "take no action at this time," saying that its board would examine the new offer and make a recommendation in due course.

Stocks in Roche fell 0.8 percent in early trade to 158.50 francs, underperforming the overall Swiss Market Index, which was down 0.29 percent.

"Based on our discussions with Illumina shareholders we have seen interest to accelerate the takeover process. As a result, we are increasing our offer price to $51.00 per share," said Roche chief executive Severin Schwan.

The Basel-based giant launched its bid for Illumina on January 25.

But the US provider of integrated systems for DNA sequencing, had opposed the hostile move saying Roche's offer price was too low and "does not reflect Illumina's unique leadership position, business performance and future prospects."

As a result, take up of the previous offer had been very low. On March 26, Roche said it had received shares worth just about $6.4 million.

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