Responding to a rival takeover bid of cardiac devicemaker Guidant, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) reiterated its commitment to acquiring the firm and stressed its intention to invest heavily in Guidant once it becomes part of the J&J family of companies.
J&J issued a statement a day after Boston Scientific announced a surprised $25 billion offer to buy Guidant. Last month, J&J and Guidant agreed to a revised $21.5 billion acquisition deal. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, J&J said.
"We continue to believe that the acquisition as agreed to by Johnson & Johnson and Guidant 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," said William Weldon, chairman and CEO of J&J. "We are committed to the long-term investment of resources that will be required to enable Guidant to pursue a full and complete recovery in the cardiac rhythm management category, to achieve and sustain leadership in drug-eluting stents, and to grow the business for the future."
Weldon also said J&J looks forward to welcoming Guidant employees to the J&J family of companies. "Throughout our integration planning, we have stressed our commitment to the people of Guidant, our capacity to invest heavily in the company's future, and our belief that together we will do more for cardiovascular physicians and the patients they treat," he said. J&J said it expects Guidant shareholders to vote on the J&J/Guidant merger at a special meeting expected to take place early in the first quarter of 2006.
Meanwhile, Guidant has acknowledged receipt of the proposed transaction with Boston Scientific. "Guidant's Board of Directors will consider the proposal submitted by Boston Scientific," the Guidant said, adding it "will have no further comment on this matter at this time."
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