Medical products developer C. R. Bard ( BCR) and Tyco International ( TYC) have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement, and the companies will each bear their own costs for ending the deal. Tyco reached an agreement last May to acquire Bard in a stock deal valued at about $3.1 billion. "We have always acted in the best interest of our shareholders," William H. Longfield, Bard's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release. "We now believe that the best course of action for our shareholders, as well as our employees, is for Bard to remain an independent company." As has been widely reported, Tyco's shares have been under severe selling pressure recently, and the company's accounting practices have come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of Enron's ( ENRNQ) collapse. Enron's fall from grace has led investors on a frantic hunt for any other company that might be in danger of falling apart because of aggressive bookkeeping. Tyco has repeatedly defended its accounting procedures. The conglomerate recently formulated a plan to break into four parts. Among the latest developments, Tyco said it would distribute the shares of the former CIT Group, the company's finance unit, to stockholders, rather than hold an initial public offering for the operation. The company also said it would consider
selling the business. Shares of Tyco have been battered in 2002, but they recovered to end the regular session up $2.82, or 12.2%, at $25.92. On the first trading day of the year, Jan. 2, Tyco closed at $57.25.