The analyst and sequencing community is currently divided on whether to believe the rumors of a new bid from Roche to buy Illumina. The source of the controversial discussions is an article from the Swiss Newspaper L’Agefi that reported end of December that Roche and Illumina might have agreed to a deal for Roche to acquire Illumina. Since Illumina turned down Roche’s original bid in January, continuous interest from Roche has been reported several times, but the report from L’Agefi is also mentioning concrete amounts of the bid. According to them, the acquisition might take place for $66 per share, valuing the deal at about $8.14 billion in total.
The offer is $15 per share higher than the previous offer of $51 in April last year. According to the analyst Devia Ferreiro of Oppenheimer the new bid is definitely at a level that might lead to a final deal.
With Roche having only about 9% of the NGS market and next generation sequencing becoming most likely an important clinical diagnostic tool in the next years, the strategy focus of Roche must be to get better access to the NGS market and to take NGS to clinical practice. The acquisition of the NGS market leader Illumina represents an optimal starting point.
We’ll see if the rumors are built on a solid foundation within the next two weeks: The Swiss newspaper L’Agefi reported that the announcement might come during the first half of January.