ZURICH Dec 20 Shares in Illumina
jumped 7 percent on Thursday, after Swiss newspaper L'Agefi
reported that Roche may have reached an agreement to buy the
U.S. gene-sequencing company.
Citing "information that appears trustworthy but could not
be verified", the paper said the two parties may have last week
agreed on a transaction price of $66 per share which would value
the company between $8.1 billion and $8.2 billion.
The paper added that nothing was finalised yet, but that an
announcement could come in the first half of January.
Roche spokesman Alexander Klauser said the company did not
comment on market rumours.
Roche walked away from a $6.8 billion bid for Illumina in
April after shareholders blocked its move to gain seats on the
U.S. firm's board. Severin Schwan had earlier ridiculed
Illumina's claim to be "the Apple of the genomics business".
Analysts were sceptical about the report.
"The price tag looks quite high as it would represents a
premium of 48 percent versus the initial offer a year ago," said
Helvea analyst Odile Rundquist. "For a company having revenues
of roughly $1 billion, that values the deal at eight times
By 1500 GMT shares in Illumina were trading up 7 percent at
$55.90. Shares in Roche were down 1.3 percent at 184.6
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; editing by Ben Hirschler)