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Roche Sends Second Letter To Illumina Shareholders

ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Roche Holding Holding AG (ROG.VX) Wednesday sent a second letter to shareholders of takeover target Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) urging them to tender their shares into Roche's increased offer and vote for Roche's independent director nominees at the U.S. gene sequencing company's AGM later this month. MAIN FACTS: - Roche raised its offer to $51 per Illumina share on March 29. - Letter from Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan says Illumina board has been unwilling to engage in 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," Schwan writes. - "At $51.00, the fiduciary responsibilities of the board and management of Illumina require engagement," Schwan writes. - " 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." - Illumina shares closed Tuesday up 0.6% at $52. -Zurich Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires, +41 43 443 80 47;

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