Roche is willing to spend $5.7 billion on what could be a hostile takeover of Illumina to get into the gene-sequencing market, CEO Severin Schwan told CNBC Friday.
"Illumina is the leading player in the gene-sequencing market. It’s a fast changing area" but he said with the combination of Illumina's capabilities and Roche's willingness to put a lot of money into investing in the technology, "we have what it takes to stay ahead of the curve."
Roche, the world's largest maker of cancer drugs, said it would offer to buy all Illumina shares at $44.50 a share in cash. The Swiss drugmaker said it will start a tender offer if Illumina isn't willing to negotiate.
Roche recently reported core 2011 earnings fell but gave an upbeat outlook for 2012.
"We looked at the competitive landscape when we made this offer and feel it is a compelling offer that is a full and fair price," Schwan said. "We are committed to making this transaction happen."
Reuters contributed to this report.