December 7, 2022

European Commission moves to finalize unwinding of Illumina/GRAIL merger

On December 5, 2022, the European Commission adopted a Statement of Objections regarding the August 2021 acquisition of GRAIL, Inc. by Illumina, Inc.  The EC prohibited the acquisition in September 2022; the Statement of Objections outlines the restorative measures demanded of Illumina to unwind the acquisition.  These measures would be imposed by the Commission pursuant to Article 8(4)(a) of the European Union Merger Regulation. 

Illumina is a global genomics company specializing in next generation sequencing systems.  GRAIL has developed a multi-cancer detection test based on the genomic sequencing of blood samples.  Both companies are headquartered in the United States in the state of California.

The Statement of Objections, outlines the restorative divestment measures the Commission considers must be taken by Illumina promptly to unwind the transaction and the transitional measures that should be complied with until the transaction has been dissolved. The divestment measures are to restore GRAIL’s independence, viability and competitiveness to the same level as prior to the acquisition. 

GRAIL and Illumina have the opportunity to respond to the Statement of Objections, both orally and in writing.  Thereafter, the Commission may make the divestment and transitional measures binding on the companies, and may, in the case of noncompliance, fine the companies up to 10% of their annual worldwide turnover.

For additional information about this case, see here, here, and here.

EC press release