Roche Holding AG’s $6.7 billion public bid to buy Illumina Inc. stopped the gene-sequencing company’s board from discussing what price would be acceptable and may have scuttled a possible deal, according to Chief Executive Officer Jay Flatley.
The race to parse the building blocks of life has accelerated with competing reports from Life Technologies Corp. and Illumina Inc. that they’ve built machines that can sequence a genome in a day, rather than weeks or months.
Roche Holding AG Chairman Franz Humer may have put a lid for now on a year’s worth of speculation by telling a Swiss newspaper that a Roche deal to buy U.S. genetics company Illumina Inc. is off the table. Illumina shares fell the most in 15 months.
Roche Holding AG offered $5.7 billion in a hostile bid for Illumina Inc. to bolster sales of gene-mapping equipment. The target’s shares climbed above the bid price as investors speculated Roche will have to raise it.
Genetic testing from Illumina Inc. and Life Technologies Corp. have spurred broad changes in the development of new medicines. Now, this research may also help farmers reduce the cost of producing milk.