There is a high value on companies that touch on personalized medicine, and that is driving the news today of Roche making a hostile takeover attempt of Illumina Roche highly values the technology to do sequencing in order to add to its research and clinical diagnostics offerings.
Most of the speculation (and probably warranted) as to the reasons for the attempt have to do with future capabilities with companion diagnostics products and new molecular testing tools. This adds extra value to Illumina for Roche. There is a present market as well for sales of the equipment for research lab sales, and any takeover would affect that market as well.
In labs around the world, Illumina sequencers compete with Roche's 454 next-generation system, as we reported on extensively in our report DNA Sequencing Trends, which surveyed sequencing lab managers and users. Illumina systems were a key target for future buyers. An open question would be what Roche does with its 454 line if the takeover is completed.