Icahn claims Illumina directors got insurance to close Grail deal -FT

(Reuters) – Carl Icahn alleges that directors of Illumina Inc demanded additional personal liability insurance before they agreed to sign off on the life sciences company’s $7.1 billion purchase of the Grail in 2021, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The billionaire investor’s claims, made in a letter to Illumina shareholders that FT saw, come as he continues to push for a board seat at the world’s largest genome sequencing company and to roll back its Grail acquisition.

Illumina completed a takeover of Grail, which develops cancer detection tests, in August 2021, without winning US or European regulatory approval, though it has since won US permits and is currently battling for European approval.

Icahn, in his letter, alleges that days before the deal’s closing, Illumina’s directors demanded the company commit to providing them with an unprecedented “additional level of personal liability insurance” coverage, the FT reported.

“To us this smells very much of a quid pro quo,” the paper quoted Icahn as saying in the letter sent on Thursday.

Icahn, Illumina and Grail did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Illumina defends its decision to acquire the Grail and rejects Icahn’s accusations of the deal.

However, earlier this month, the company said it would divest Grail if it lost its appeal to the European Commission.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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