In the latest episode of this long, strange saga, Johnson & Johnson upped their buyout bid of Guidant to $23.3 billion, in response to a recent overture from Boston Scientific. Guidant appears to have accepted J&J’s bid:
Johnson & Johnson’s latest offer topped its former $21.5 billion bid but fell short of a rival $25 billion bid from Boston Scientific Corp. In a statement, Boston Scientific said it plans further talks with Indianapolis-based Guidant and would “vigorously pursue this transaction to its completion.”
Guidant’s board said it would recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the revised Johnson & Johnson deal during a scheduled Jan. 31 meeting, according to a joint statement from both companies. Both boards unanimously approved the revised Johnson & Johnson offer, the companies said.
With all Guidant’s legal and medical woes, we were surprised by the competition to buy the company. Guidant is like that undistinguished girl in high school who had to take time off for substance abuse problems, but when she came back, all the guys were chasing after her. Far-fetched? Not with quotes like this:
“We strongly believe that our union with Guidant is the only one that can deliver on that promise and create lasting value for shareholders of both companies,” said William C. Weldon, Johnson & Johnson’s chairman and chief executive.
And while that may be, Boston Scientific’s move must be considered shrewd: They forced J&J to spend an extra two billion on damaged goods that they didn’t even seem to want much (remember Guidant was ready to sue J&J for withdrawing from original buyout plan).
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