Boston Scientific offered to pay about $25 billion for rival device maker Guidant, topping an earlier bid by Johnson & Johnson by nearly $3 billion. Boston Scientific Chairman Pete Nicholas said his company is interested in its competitor's defibrillator and pacemaker lines. The deal would create a medical device superpower, uniting two dominant powers in the medical device industry. Nicholas acknowledged that Boston Scientific would probably have to sell off Guidant's stent business to resolve antitrust concerns, but he said he was hopeful that the company could retain the rights to Guidant's drug-eluting stent technology.
Talking Points: Analysts are bullish on the deal, seeing a well-played hand by Boston Scientific. Many think J&J is unlikely to up its offer after months of tense negotiations.