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Illumina Reportedly Gets $30 Billion Offer From Thermo Fisher

San Diego medtech giant Illumina Inc., the world’s largest developer of DNA sequencing machines, reportedly has received a $30 billion takeover offer from global firm Thermo Fisher Scientific.

The deal is an all-stock offer, Bloomberg and StreetInsider.com reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

This isn’t the first time a multinational corporation has attempted to acquire Illumina. Back in 2012, Roche Holding AG made a bid of $6.7 billion for Illumina. The company rejected the offer, and Illumina’s market cap has grown to over $26 billion since. Its revenue has doubled since 2011, totaling $2.2 billion last year.

Thermo Fisher is one of Illumina’s very few competitors in the gene-sequencing space, a technology that’s revolutionized the study of biology and the discovery of new medicines.

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Thermo Fisher acquired locally based Life Technologies in 2014 for $13.6 billion. At the time, Life Technologies employed 1,300 people.

‘Makes No Sense’

Wells Fargo analyst Tim Evans told Barron’s stock market blogger Ben Levisohn that the speculation regarding the takeover “makes no sense.”

“We think the deal would encounter significant regulatory hurdles given that Illumina holds a near monopoly in high-throughput sequencing, and Thermo Fisher Scientific is the only current competitor with material scale in desktop sequencing,” Evans said.

Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific officials were not available for comment by press time.

Jay Flatley served as chairman and chief executive of Illumina since 1999, when the company was little more than a tech startup with 30 employees and a few hundred thousand in annual revenue. Today, the company employs 4,300 people and generated $2.2 billion in revenue last year.

Flatley handed the job to President Francis deSouza in July.

DeSouza joined Illumina in 2013 as president. He has been instrumental in Illumina’s evolution into the clinical markets and executed multiple major initiatives, including launching the HiSeq 4000 and the recent introduction of MiniSeq.

Forging Partnerships

Illumina has been forging important partnerships.

Earlier this month, Illumina announced a partnership with Oregon-based tech firm FlowJo LLC to develop and co-market software for analyzing single-cell, next-generation sequencing data.

Illumina was named one of the “smartest” companies out there, according to MIT Technology Review, which in June released its annual list of the 50 companies that have created new markets or taken risks to disrupt an existing marketplace.


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