Roche sends second letter to Illumina shareholders
Basel, 4 April 2012
Roche sends second letter to Illumina shareholders
Letter urges Illumina shareholders to tender shares into Roche’s increased offer and vote the GOLD proxy card
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today sent a second letter to shareholders of Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) urging them to tender their shares into Roche’s increased offer and vote for Roche’s independent director nominees and other proposals at the 2012 Illumina annual meeting to be held on 18 April 2012. A copy of the letter sent to Illumina shareholders from Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche Group, follows:
Dear Illumina shareholder:
As you may know, on March 29, 2012, we increased our offer price for all outstanding shares of Illumina to $51.00 per share in cash. We decided to raise our offer based on a number of productive discussions we have had with Illumina shareholders and our preference to conclude a negotiated transaction with Illumina in a timely manner. As we indicated in our earlier letter, you have an important decision to make. Your decision will ultimately determine your ability to obtain certain value for your investment amid increasing headwinds for Illumina and the broader sequencing sector.
Unfortunately, Illumina’s Board of Directors rejected our increased offer on April 2, 2012, and has remained unwilling to engage in any meaningful discussions – despite our willingness to pay a substantial price for your shares. After Roche’s multiple attempts to engage were rebuffed, we were left with no choice but to bring our offer directly to you, Illumina’s shareholders, and provide you with the opportunity to act in your own financial interests.
At $51.00, the fiduciary responsibilities of the board and management of Illumina require engagement. The best way for you, as a shareholder, to obtain value certainty today for your shares is to vote for engagement. Tender your shares into our offer and vote for Roche’s independent director nominees and other proposals at the 2012 Illumina Annual Meeting to be held on 18 April 2012.
Roche’s increased all-cash offer presents a highly attractive opportunity for your shares
Our increased offer of $51.00 per share is full and fair and attractive by every conceivable financial metric based on publicly available information. Roche’s increased offer represents a significant premium to where Illumina would likely trade on a standalone basis and provides certainty of value through an all-cash payment to Illumina’s shareholders. Our offer represents a premium of 88% over Illumina’s closing stock price on December 21, 2011 – the day before market rumors about a potential transaction between Roche and Illumina drove Illumina’s stock price significantly higher – and an 84% premium over the one-month historical average as of December 21, 2011. Comparable precedent life science tools transactions have median 1-day and 1-month average premiums to the unaffected stock price of 33% and 37%, respectively.
Roche’s offer also implies a valuation multiple of 34.2x 2012E net income, which is higher than all of the company’s publicly traded peers and higher than precedent life science tools transactions with average LTM revenue and EBITDA multiples of 3.3x and 16.0x, respectively. Additionally, the 2.06x implied P/E/G of Roche’s current offer is 16% above any P/E/G Illumina has traded at for the past three years and significantly higher than Illumina’s pre-offer P/E/G of 1.51x.
Illumina has yet to make a single quantitative argument substantiating its future growth
Illumina has continually made a number of qualitative statements regarding the potentially large market for its products in emerging markets and industrial end-markets. However, the company has yet to produce any quantifiable evidence or projections to reassure shareholders when or how this growth will be realized. In fact, since Roche’s offer, the only relevant industry news highlighted the increasing competitive landscape following product-related announcements from Oxford Nanopore and Life Technologies. In addition, Wall Street research analysts who understand the future potential of the sequencing market, Illumina’s role in the industry, as well as its future growth prospects had already factored this potential into their price targets prior to Roche’s offer – and these price targets had a median value of $34 per share. We believe our offer is highly attractive, representing both full and fair value as well as value certainty today that fully incorporates Illumina’s future growth prospects.
Illumina’s Board refuses to let you choose
You should have the opportunity to act in your own financial interests. We urge you to send a clear and strong message to the management and Board of Illumina by electing our independent director nominees and voting FOR our other proposals listed on the GOLD proxy card. We believe the election of our independent directors and the passage of our proposals is the best path forward for shareholders to obtain maximum and certain value for their shares of Illumina.
Complete and return the GOLD proxy card today!
We urge you to complete, sign, date and return the GOLD proxy card today. Show support for Roche’s proposals by voting your shares for our proposals and independent director nominees today. If you hold shares in your name directly, vote today by phone, Internet, or mail by signing, dating, and returning the enclosed GOLD proxy card in the postpaid envelope provided. If you hold shares in “street name,” use the enclosed GOLD instruction card to tell your bank or broker to vote for the nominees. If you have any questions or need assistance voting your shares, please contact MacKenzie Partners, the Information Agent for the offer, at (212) 929-5500 or (800) 322-2885 (toll-free) or via email at Illumina@mackenziepartners.com.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Severin Schwan CEO of Roche Group
CEO of Roche Group
About the Offer
On January 27, 2012, Roche commenced a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina for $44.50 per share in cash and increased its offer on March 29, 2012 to $51.00 per share in cash for an aggregate of approximately $6.7 billion on a fully diluted basis. The increased offer represents a substantial premium to Illumina’s unaffected market prices: a premium of 88% over Illumina’s closing stock price on December 21, 2011 – the day before market rumors about a potential transaction between Roche and Illumina drove Illumina’s stock price significantly higher – and an 84% premium over the one-month historical average and a 64% premium over the three-month historical average of Illumina’s share price, both as of December 21, 2011.
In addition to its cash tender offer, Roche has nominated a slate of highly qualified, independent candidates for election to Illumina’s Board of Directors and proposed certain other matters for the consideration of Illumina’s shareholders at Illumina’s 2012 annual meeting, which if adopted, would result in Roche-nominated directors comprising a majority of the Illumina board.