Government intervention in healthcare could play havoc with the fine financial calculations underlying the hospital group's buyout. HCA's close to ties to the Senate's majority leader Bill Frist have helped in the past. But they could turn counterproductive.
The surprise counterbid puts J&J on the back foot. It cut its bid, saying Guidant was worth less than it thought. Raising now would be hard. Boston's tactics have been smart, but has it also been smart on value? The fall in its share price suggests investors aren't yet convinced. Boston's tactics have been smart. But has the group been smart on value?