Investors were sparked by a Financial Times report of the potential offer. Abbott is working with banks on a cash-and-stock proffer, the newspaper report, citing people familiar with the situation. A deal between Abbott and St. Jude, which already jointly sell their cardiovascular products, would give the new entity stronger ground in negotiations with hospital customers, the newspaper reported.
An Abbott spokesman told Bloomberg that the FT report is wrong, but declined to say whether the company is raising money for other deals.
Early trading pushed STJ shares up 17%, but the stock had fallen back to $73 even by about 9:20 this morning on Wall Street, still a 5.3% gain.