Guidant accepts new J&J offer

Guidant accepted a $23.2 billion takeover offer from Johnson & Johnson, shocking analysts who had predicted that the company had lost the bidding war for the device maker. Guidant appeared to leave the door open for another offer from rival suitor Boston Scientific, however. Boston Scientific responded immediately, issuing a statement that concludes, "Our discussions with Guidant are ongoing. We intend to vigorously pursue this transaction to its completion."

The Wall Street Journal reports that people close to the deal say the Guidant board wants better terms from Boston Scientific, although not necessarily more cash. The main issue appears to be Boston Scientific's plan to divest itself of Guidant's stent and catheter businesses, while retaining the rights to the company's drug-coated stent unit. Early this week, Boston Scientific announced that it plans to sell those units to Abbott Laboratories for $4.3 billion.

- see this article from The New York Times
see this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)