Swiss Drug Maker Roche Is About To Announce One Of The Largest Deals Of The New Year

Photo: Bristol-Myers Squibb

AP — Swiss drug maker Roche says it plans to offer shareholders $5.7 billion for DNA diagnostics company Illumina.Roche Holding AG said in a statement early Wednesday that the deal would accelerate routine clinical use of DNA testing, and it said that buying San Diego-based Illumina will strengthen Roche’s position in diagnostics because the companies’ technologies are complementary.

Roche’s planned tender offer of $44.50 per share would represent an 18 per cent premium over Tuesday’s closing price of $37.69 for Illumina shares.

Roche said it’s also more than 60 per cent above the last closing price before speculation surfaced Dec. 21 that Roche was considering acquiring Illumina.

Roche said it has tried to negotiate a deal, but Illumina has declined to participate.

The offer will depend on a majority of shareholders tendering their stock.

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