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J&J–Guidant Merger Clears SEC Hurdle

The planned merger of Johnson & Johnson Inc. (New Brunswick, NJ) and Guidant Corp. (Indianapolis) moved a step closer to reality in late March with the approval of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC; Washington, DC). The SEC declared that the S-4 Registration Statement regarding the merger was “effective,” clearing the way for the prospectus and proxy statement to be sent to Guidant shareholders.

Guidant shareholders will vote on the proposed transaction on April 27 at a special meeting in Indianapolis.

If approved by Guidant shareholders, as expected, the merger is still subject to requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and the European Union's merger control regulation. Neither is expected to present a barrier to sealing the $25.4 billion deal, which was first announced last December, and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2005.

The merger represents the largest acquisition in J&J's 119-year history, and is also the biggest-ever deal in the medtech industry.

© 2005 Canon Communications LLC

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