Amadeus portfolio company, Solexa Inc. (NASDAQ: SLXA) has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), whereby Illumina will acquire all Solexa shares in a stock-for-stock transaction. Solexa stockholders will receive, subject to certain ‘collar’ provisions, shares of Illumina common stock valued at $14 per Solexa share, representing a total equity consideration of approximately $600 million. Amadeus first backed Solexa in 2001 and, at the time of this agreement, was Solexa’s largest single shareholder with some 12.5% holding. 

Solexa, headquartered in Hayward, California with its R&D centre near Cambridge UK, has developed a proprietary, next generation genetic analysis system for use in whole genome sequencing, targeted resequencing, digital gene expression and microRNA analysis. Illumina develops and markets next-generation tools for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function, including a targeted set of offerings for organisations conducting larger-scale research in the areas of genotyping and gene expression profiling. 

The merger creates the only company with genome-scale technology for genotyping, gene expression and sequencing. 

Hermann Hauser, Director of Amadeus ad a member of the Board of Solexa, says: ‘This deal is a great opportunity for Solexa and Illumina to build on world leadership in genetic analysis technology and shows, yet again, that we in Europe can develop world class technologies into world class businesses. Our congratulations are due to Solexa’s founding scientists, Dr Shankar Balasubramanian and Dr David Klenerman, faculty members in the Chemical Laboratories at the University of Cambridge and the management team under the leadership of John West.’