Illumina rejects Roche's $6.7-bn bid

US-based gene sequencing company Illumina Inc yesterday rejected Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding's increased takeover offer, saying it dramatically undervalued the company.

Basel, Switzerland-based Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer drugs, had last week increased its $44.50 a share offer by 15 per cent, to $51 a share, taking Illumina's purchse price to $6.7 billion. (See: Roche increases hostile offer for Illumina to $6.7 billion)

The Illumina board told its shareholders that accepting the revised offer was not in their best interests, and urged them not to tender any shares.

The San Diego, California-based company said in a statement that the revised offer ''dramatically undervalues Illumina and does not adequately reflect Illumina's singular position in an industry poised for extraordinary growth.''

''Illumina has strong revenue generation, strong profit generation, strong cash generation and a very good track record of delivering continual upgrades in technology to the marketplace.''

The rejection will see a proxy battle ahead of Illumina's annual shareholders' meeting scheduled to be held on 18 April, where Roche has proposed that shareholders elect six of its nominees to Illumina's board.