CHICAGO, April 7 Drugmaker Roche Holding AG
may be willing to up the ante in its attempt to buy
Illumina Inc., a disease fighter, after a
recommendation that Illumina's shareholders reject its latest
hostile offer, Roche said in a statement on Friday.
"We remain willing to consider additional value if given the
opportunity to enter discussions and perform due diligence,"
said Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche Group.
Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS)
said on Friday in its recommendation to reject the offer that
Roche's $6.7 billion bid for San Diego-based Illumina
undervalues the firm.
Schwan said Roche was disappointed over the recommended
rejection of the bid for Illumina. But "we are pleased that ISS
noted that Roche would seem to be an excellent partner for
Illumina as the sequencing industry grows more intertwined with
new drug development," he said.
Swiss-based Roche is the world's largest maker of cancer
drugs and Illumina is a maker of machines that search the human
genome for ways to defeat disease.
Roche bid $44.50 per share early in the year and bumped the
offer to $51 at the end of March. Illumina, whose stock was
listed at $52.33 per share at Thursday's close, rejected both
offers. Roche said the latest offer represented an approximate
$6.8 billion bid "on a fully diluted basis."
Roche also has nominated a slate of candidates who will seek
election to Illumina's board of directors at the April 18
meeting and proposed certain other matters, the statement said.