Illumina set to use poison pill against Roche

US gene sequencing company Illumina has adopted a “poison pill” defence strategy against a hostile $5.7bn (£3.6bn) bid from Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG, saying it would trigger a rights agreement if any party bought 15 per cent of its stock.

Illumina’s first public move since Roche announced the offer on Wednesday showed it would not be easily convinced of the proposal’s value, especially at the current price.

In addition, Illumina has a so-called staggered election for its board of directors, which makes it difficult for an outside party to gain control of the board in one year.

Roche said it was disappointed in the action by Illumina’s Board and still believes its offer delivers “full and fair value” to shareholders.