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Carl Icahn Says Illumina’s Appeal To FTC Order To Divest Is An “Impossible Battle”

 |  April 5, 2023

Carl Icahn stated that Illumina’s appeal of the FTC order to divest the Grail acquisition is a difficult battle.

Illumina plans to appeal the FTC’s order in federal court and will request an expedited decision. An activist investor stated in a recent open letter to shareholders that the company’s appeal will be costly.

“Our major concern as a large shareholder is that this multi-year battle will consume hordes of cash and go on for years, luxuries that Illumina does not have,” Icahn, who owns a 1.4% stake in Illumina, wrote. 

Read more: FTC Orders Illumina To Divest GRAIL To Protect Competition

The company’s market value has already fallen to roughly $36 billion from about $75 billion in August 2021, the month it closed its acquisition of cancer test developer Grail. 

Icahn launched a proxy fight over the Grail deal last month, seeking seats on Illumina’s board of directors and pushing the company to unwind the deal. He shares common ground with the FTC, which argued in its order that the $7.1 billion deal would stifle competition and innovation. 

The FTC’s order reverses an administrative judge’s September ruling, which dismissed the commission’s initial challenge to the Grail deal. 

In his letter, Icahn highlighted Illumina’s “long history” of appealing regulatory challenges to the acquisition.