M & A wrap: Illumina unveils poison pill to stave off Roche

January 26, 2012

Gene sequencing company Illumina unveiled a “poison pill” defense strategy against a hostile bid from Swiss drugmaker Roche, saying it would trigger a rights agreement if any party bought 15 percent of its stock. Roche is offering $5.7 billion in cash for Illumina.

Analysts say it is likely to be a protracted battle lasting well into 2012 based on Roche’s past deal playbook and possible regulatory hurdles. “This is going to take a while. There’s room for a protracted wait-them-out strategy as Roche puts pressure on Illumina’s board,” one arbitrageur, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

Amgen Inc, the world’s largest biotechnology company, says it would pay over $1 billion to buy Micromet Inc, which has several cancer drugs in development.

Japan is set to launch a $13 billion bailout of the stricken Tokyo Electric Power Co after the utility dropped resistance to a public fund injection, sources say. Tepco’s Fukushima plant was wrecked by a quake and tsunami last March, sparking the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. It will be one of the world’s biggest bailouts outside the banking sector.

The chief executive officers of some of Europe’s richest companies discuss takeovers at this week’s World Economic Forum amid a flood of negative economic forecasts, Bloomberg reports.

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