After a summer of awful news and damage control, then a fall promising lawsuits and angry shareholders, Johnson & Johnson bit the bullet and bought the troubled pacer maker, Guidant:
Ending a weeklong standoff, Johnson & Johnson agreed Tuesday to acquire the struggling medical device manufacturer Guidant Corp. for $21.5 billion, about 15 percent less than its initial offer last year.
The deal will help J&J beef up its medical device division, but the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company could inherit a hornet’s nest of legal problems related to recalls of Guidant pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that sapped patient and physician confidence in the company’s devices.
A timeline of the long, tumultuous courtship has been updated, for future MBA students to ponder and debate.
As for us, we can’t recall the last time $21.5 billion exchanged hands with such a lack of enthusiasm. You might say… J&J’s heart wasn’t in it… That Guidant’s lawsuit trouble was a shocker, giving J&J execs some palpitations… No one knows where this leads… J&J may never capture Guidant’s corporate rhythm…
OK, ok, we’ll stop. It’s just that this may be our last opportunity with these puns. Or maybe not: Guidant shareholders don’t vote on the sale until January, and their reactions may switch from relief to resentment that J&J offered less than originally promised.