A former outside lawyer who repped Guidant Corp. during the bidding war between Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reportedly told a judge yesterday that Guidant was within its rights to provide due diligence to Abbott (NYSE:ABT) in connection with the Boston Scientific bid.
Johnson & Johnson is suing Boston Scientific for $7.2 billion, alleging that Guidant breached their 21.5 billion acquisition contract in providing the information to Abbott. But Guidant’s ex-outside counsel, Charles Mulaney of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, told Judge Richard Sullivan that Abbott was considered a "representative" of Boston Scientific under a confidentiality agreement, according to Law360.
Boston Scientific won the bidding war for Guidant with its $27 million offer. Part of the deal saw Abbott acquire Guidant’s stent business to satisfy anti-trust concerns. J&J lawyers argued in court last month that Guidant "cheated" in providing the due dil. to Abbott "and then it lied to Johnson & Johnson."
But ex-Guidant counsel Mulaney told Sullivan yesterday that Guidant was allowed to respond to offers that might beat J&J’s proffer, to get the best return for Guidant’s shareholders.
“We wanted to be able to respond to a higher bid if it was out there," Mulaney said, according to Law360. "That was the bargain we made.”
Mulaney was scheduled to continue his testimony this morning, according to the website, along with 2 other attorneys who represented Guidant during the chase.