Whatever faults you may find with Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific's offer is a 50/50 mix of cash and stock that represents about a 14% premium to the recently announced revised agreement between J&J and Guidant. Keep in mind, though, that the $25 billion headline value of the deal exceeds Boston Scientific's enterprise value by about $1 billion, so this is clearly a sizable deal. What's more, BSX will have to take on a fair bit of debt to fulfill the cash obligation of the proposal.
I've had my issues with BSX management in the past, but this is almost exactly the kind of thing the company needs to do. As I've mentioned in previous Takes, Boston Scientific is largely a one-note story for now, given that drug-coated stents make up a very large part of the company's overall business. Adding Guidant's cardiac rhythm management business (as the stent business would almost certainly have to be sold) would go a long way toward balancing out the business at BSX, even if it does take a couple of years to get the CRM business fully back on its feet.
It will be curious to see how J&J responds to this deal, especially since the company obviously had cold feet about doing the deal with Guidant at a higher price. Perhaps J&J will ultimately let BSX have Guidant and instead focus its attention toward St. Jude
Assuming for a moment that the BSX-Guidant deal happens, I would see it as a long-term positive for Boston Scientific. But it would be an expensive and challenging deal to complete, and the stock could very well just sit and mark time as investors wait for the combined entity to fully get under way and work through the initial dilution.
The bottom line is that this is good news for Guidant's shareholders, potentially good news for patient Boston Scientific shareholders, and probably not terrible news for Johnson & Johnson shareholders, either. Stay tuned, though, for it's all but certain there will be a few more twists and turns to this story.
For more Foolish thoughts on health care:
- Guidant, J&J Kiss and Make Up
- All's Not Lost at Guidant
- A Busy Day for St. Jude
- Good Teamwork at J&J
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