"You'll take it and you'll like it!"
That seems to be the attitude Roche (OTC: RHHBY) is taking by reiterating an offer that's already lowballing Illumina
"Pretty insulting" might be next on the list of retorts. Granted, no serious shareholder would want to give up $7 per share. Where will the offer have to go to make this a worthwhile deal for both parties -- and will any result be enough to maintain Illumina's current technology edge in an industry where innovation seems to happen every week?
Blood in the water
At an 83 P/E, Illumina is right back to where it was a year ago, at a terrifically optimistic level far beyond rival Life Technologies'
At the same time, Illumina's current leadership position is under siege, both by Life Tech's recently unveiled cheaper machine and by other unexpected competitors like Oxford Nanopore, whose handheld sequencer generated tremendous buzz when demonstrated earlier in February. Pacific Biosciences
Illumina has some key partnerships, including one with maternity-test specialist Sequenom
Foolish final thoughts
Illumina's current market cap is (relatively) small potatoes for a behemoth that's gobbled up Genentech for $46.8 billion, but that business model was arguably more established and its future better understood than Illumina's. Illumina's development hasn't relied on the deep pockets of bigger benefactors so far, but competition is always around the corner. What price justifies losing out on the potential for huge growth, if it means eliminating the possibility of huge losses should Illumina eventually stumble and lose the race?
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Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more news and insights. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pacific Biosciences of California and Illumina. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.