Roche May Drop Its Offer for Illumina, SonntagsZeitung Reports

Roche Holding AG (ROG), a Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker, may drop its $6.6 billion bid for Illumina Inc. (ILMN), SonntagsZeitung reported, citing an unidentified person close to Roche’s board.

Illumina, a San Diego, California-based diagnostics company, can’t rely on Roche’s continuing participation in negotiations, the person said, adding that for Roche, Illumina is a “nice-to-have,” not a “must-have,” according to the Swiss newspaper.

Roche won’t raise its bid for Illumina a second time, the same person told SonntagsZeitung.

The Swiss drugmaker on March 29 raised its offer for Illumina by 15 percent to $51 a share. Investors have until April 20 at 6 p.m. New York time to tender their stock. Illumina’s technology may help Roche, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, tailor medicines to individual patients.

Daniel Grotzky, a Basel-based spokesman for Roche, declined to comment on the SonntagsZeitung report when contacted by phone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leigh Baldwin in Zurich at lbaldwin3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net

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