Illumina’s Decision to Divest Grail
San Diego-based biotech company Illumina has announced its intention to reverse its $7.1 billion acquisition of cancer-screening company Grail. This decision comes after losing legal battles with antitrust enforcers in both the United States and Europe.
The U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that the merger between Illumina and Grail could potentially violate antitrust laws. Similarly, the European Union ordered the deal to be unwound as it had closed in 2021 without regulatory approval from the 27-nation bloc. The EU had also imposed a substantial $475 million fine on Illumina for proceeding with the acquisition without consent.
In response to these legal challenges, Illumina had already committed to divesting Grail if it was unsuccessful in its appeals. The divestiture will be carried out through a third-party sale or capital markets transaction by the end of the second quarter of 2024.
The Companies Involved
Illumina is a leading provider of next-generation sequencing systems for genetic and genomic analysis. Grail, based in Menlo Park, California, focuses on developing blood tests for the early detection of cancer.
Commitment to Patient Benefits
Illumina CEO Jacob Thaysen expressed the company’s dedication to ensuring a swift divestiture of Grail. He emphasized that the goal is to allow Grail’s technology to continue benefiting patients. Thaysen assumed leadership of Illumina in September, following a period of uncertainty due to the legal challenges.