Guidant Corp. said it is ready to enter into discussions with Boston Scientific Corp. regarding its $25 billion offer earlier this week to buy the medical device company. Boston Scientific's surprising bid for Guidant and its substantial stake in the exploding electrophysiology market directly challenged rival Johnson & Johnson's $21.5 billion acquisition agreement. Guidant officials said that in compliance with its agreement with J&J, its board of directors decided to provide information to Boston Scientific, but the board is not yet making any recommendations regarding the proposal. Meanwhile, J&J yesterday proceeded with its revised agreement with Guidant and indicated it was sticking to its bid, saying that the company continues to believe that the deal "represents full and fair value based on extensive evaluation and due diligence and is in the best strategic interest of Guidant, its customers and patients." J&J last month knocked off $4 billion from its original $25.5 billion offer. The deal, originally announced in December 2004, nearly derailed due to J&J's concerns with recent recalls of Guidant products and related investigations of Guidant's implantable electrophysiology devices. -- by Cinda Becker
Guidant, Boston Scientific to discuss $25 billion offer
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