NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Report were falling in mid-morning trading on Wednesday as the Chicago-based healthcare company said Alere (ALR), the medical-testing company it agreed to buy for $5.8 billion, has withheld information and made it impossible to know if or when the deal will close.
Abbott compiled a list of issues that have been uncovered since the purchase agreement was signed on January 30, Bloomberg reports. The list includes three Department of Justice investigations, two of which are criminal probes, delayed SEC reports, a product recall and unresolved material weaknesses in financial reporting.
"Although Alere has provided some information to Abbott, Alere has denied Abbott the access to which it is entitled under the Alere merger agreement," Abbott noted in a filing with the SEC. "In light of the above, Abbott cannot predict at this time whether the Alere acquisition will occur on a timely basis, if at all."
Alere said there were no grounds to consider cancelling the merger, adding that the company had provided Abbott with "significantly more information" than is required, including more than 931,000 pages of documentation, according to Bloomberg.
"Abbott continues to make seemingly endless, unreasonable requests for even more information to which it is not entitled under the merger agreement," Alere continued.
The Alere deal appeared rockier after Abbott agreed to buy St. Jude Medical (STJ) in April for $25 billion, Bloomberg reports. The two deals would increase Abbott's debt to $31 billion from about $8.9 billion.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
We rate ABBOTT LABORATORIES as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABT