Updated from 7:18 a.m. EST

The hard-fought battle for Guidant ( GDT) looked over Wednesday with Boston Scientific ( BSX) emerging victorious.

Guidant, the Indianapolis-based medical device maker, agreed to be acquired by its Massachusetts suitor after Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) let pass a midnight deadline to sweeten its takeover offer.

Boston Scientific's plan to buy Guidant for $80 a share represents a price that, on a split-adjusted basis, the company's stock never reached during its 11-year run in the public markets. Eli Lilly ( LLY), Guidant's former parent, first offered shares in the company in December 1994.

Any investors who have been holding Guidant's common since then are getting one rich payoff: Adjusted for stocks splits and dividends, Guidant closed at $3.55 a share on Dec. 14, 1994, translating to a profit of more than 2200% for those who were there at the beginning.

While analysts say J&J could have easily outbid Boston Scientific, the New Jersey health-care giant opted to quit the fight. One obvious reason is that for J&J to continue, it would have had to lift its bid above the original $76-a-share offer made in December 2004, and that never seemed likely.

After Guidant recalled around 100,000 heart devices last year, J&J revised its initial price lower by about $13, saying the pacemaker seller was worth closer to $63 a share. However, J&J did eventually raise its takeover price two times after Boston Scientific entered the fray, ultimately stopping at $71 a share, or $24 billion.

In the end, trying to trump Boston again "would not have been in the best interest of its shareholders," J&J said in a press release.

As a result, Guidant terminated its agreement to be acquired by J&J and canceled a previously planned meeting at which shareholders were to vote on the deal. Instead, Guidant will be acquired by Boston Scientific for what amounts to $27 billion, an aggressive offer that has led at least one analyst to question the company's strategy.

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