News | September 26, 2006

Guidant Saga Continues with Lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson has filed a $5.5 billion lawsuit against Guidant Corp. in U.S. District Court in New York, claiming that Guidant leaked confidential information to Abbott Laboratories to secure a crucial component of the deal with Boston Scientific, reports Modernhealthcare.com.

J&J signed a deal to acquire Guidant in November 2004 but lost an intense bidding war to Boston Scientific Corp., which closed on its $27 billion purchase of Guidant in April. BSC subsequently sold Guidant's vascular intervention and endovascular business to Abbott for $4.1 billion.

According to Modernhealthcare.com, Abbott provided a five-year, $900 million loan to BSC to finance the Guidant acquisition and purchased about 64 million shares of BSC stock for $1.4 billion.

Responding to FTC concerns about the deal, J&J had agreed to sell Guidant patents related to drug-eluting stents to Abbott.

The lawsuit does not specify what information Abbott received from Guidant, but names Abbott, Boston Scientific and Guidant as defendants.

Both Abbott and BSC said the lawsuit was without merit. A statement from BSC said: "We find it curious that J&J has chosen to sue eight months after Boston Scientific entered into a definitive agreement with Guidant and five months after the transaction closed.”

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