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Illumina abandons $1.2 billion deal to buy rival Pacific Biosciences

Country : U.S., UK

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LONDON, 3 Jan (APM) - Gene sequencing specialist Illumina is terminating a planned $1.2 billion deal to buy smaller rival Pacific Biosciences of California, weeks after the U.S. competition watchdog filed a complaint to block the purchase.
Illumina said it will pay Pacific Biosciences $98 million for the terminated deal, which was announced in November 2018 and had attracted scrutiny from monopoly authorities in the U.S. and UK.
"Considering the lengthy regulatory approval process the transaction has already been subject to and continued uncertainty of the ultimate outcome, the parties decided that terminating the agreement is in the best interest of their respective shareholders and employees," Illumina said in a late Thursday statement.
In its complaint last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission raised concerns that Illumina wanted the deal in order to prevent Pacific Biosciences from developing into a competitor in the market for next-generation DNA sequencing.
Illumina's chief executive Francis deSouza said: "We believe this proposed combination would have broadened access to Pacific Biosciences sequencing technology, significantly expanded and accelerated innovation, and ultimately increased the clinical utility and impact of sequencing."
California-based Illumina is a major player in the growing gene sequencing field, which involves analysing the genome and can among other uses, identify inherited disorders and markers of disease progression.
The UK's Oxford Nanopore said on Thursday it has secured £109.5 million in funding after it reportedly shelved plans for a stock market flotation last year. Nanopore is aiming to challenge Illumina, which dominates the market for DNA sequencings equipment. Illumina has at least 80% of the market. (APMHE 65696)
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