Device Drama Not Over Yet
Hardly a month ago, J&J was about to be dragged into court for threatening to abandon would-be merger partner Guidant (GDT) after saying their $76-a-share agreement was no longer tenable. Eventually the two sides agreed to get along, and they worked out a new deal that valued Guidant north of $63 a share.
Meanwhile, Boston Scientific was laying its own plans, and its strategy is a secret no more. By swooping in Monday with a proposal to buy Indianapolis-based Guidant for $72 a share, Boston Scientific now threatens to leave the formerly reluctant J&J as the odd man out.
J&J waited a day to respond to the challenge, but when it did, the New Brunswick, N.J., health care concern said its offer "represents full and fair value based on extensive evaluation and due diligence and is in the best strategic interest of Guidant, its customers and patients."
Not So SecretThough Boston Scientific's offer for Guidant became known to the public just a day ago, the company made inquiries about such an arrangement last month. During their renegotiation talks, Guidant notified J&J that on Nov. 1 Boston said it wanted to discuss the possibility of a merger. However, Guidant didn't actively use the potential new suitor as a negotiating tool. "In such a tenuous position they didn't want to walk away from
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