Roche CEO says on look out for bolt-on buys

ZURICH Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:20pm BST



ZURICH Oct 16 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said there was "no change" to its merger and acquisition strategy and the company remained on the look out for small to mid-size acquisitions.

"We continue to look for bolt-on acquisitions that complement our platforms and products," Chief Executive Severin Schwan told a call for analysts on Tuesday.

He declined to comment on speculation that has resurfaced in recent weeks that Roche may renew a bid for U.S. gene-sequencing company Illumina. Roche walked away from a hostile takeover bid in April after shareholders blocked its move to gain seats on the company's board.

Earlier on Tuesday, Roche reported third-quarter sales rose 15 percent to 11.271 billion Swiss francs ($12.07 billion), beating the average analyst forecast of 11.124 billion francs in a Reuters poll. (Reporting by Caroline Copley)