Saturday, January 14, 2006

Going to the Well . . .

I continue to be highly amused by the to-and-fro in the struggle for Guidant. Not surprisingly, J&J raised its offer last night, and Guidant promptly accepted. I think this is the fourth time the Guidant BOD has approved a merger partner - talk about your rapid lead changes! J&J's new proposal is basically the same economically as BSX's latest, but J&J has the timing and certainty of closing advantage. Those factors are very important to Guidant management - this isn't a matter of taking whichever offer is a quarter higher.

I'd be a littled surprised (and disappointed) if BSX took its ball and went home here. I'm sure they feel a bit worked by Guidant right about now, but with the Guidant shareholder vote in two weeks, they should pull out the stops and go as far as they can. They'll either get their prize or at least know they didn't let J&J walk away with Guidant for anything less than a premium price.

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