Friday, January 13, 2006

Good to be Guidant

Guidant has got to be feeling a little bit of sweet redemption these days. After months of being slapped around by J&J, including the indignity of accepting a reduced purchase price, Guidant has found itself in that holiest of spots for a seller - a bidding war.

BSX raised its bid this morning by $1 (from $72 to $73 per share). While that's less than a 1.5% increase, word is that BSX has included in its proposal a couple of terms designed to make its offer roughly equal J&J's in terms of certainty and timing of close. Essentially, BSX will do whatever divestitures necessary to get antitrust approval, and will add interest to the deal starting on the assumed date of a J&J close. With that kind of equalization, the folks at Guidant are liking the idea of finally getting the chance to smack J&J down.

While this likely isn't the last move we'll see, one thing is sure - J&J has got to be sorely regretting its decision to exercise the MAC clause and not rush to close the original deal.

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