Boston Scientific raises bid for Guidant

In the latest twist in the dramatic bidding war over Guidant, Boston Scientific upped its offer for the device maker to $25.5 billion but said the company must accept or decline the offer by this afternoon. The offer includes concessions intended to reassure Guidant's board that Boston Scientific will take the steps necessary to close the transaction quickly.

Many analysts think the Guidant board may accept the new offer unless Johnson & Johnson raises its bid. "We suspect that the new Boston Scientific offer was developed with input from the Guidant board, so it's likely that the Guidant board will declare it superior to J&J's latest offer," Prudential Equity analyst Larry Biegelsen writes in a research note.

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