Washington, January 15:

US health product giant Johnson and Johnson on Friday agreed to pay more for troubled medical device maker Guidant, raising its bid to $24.2 billion in the face of a competing offer from a Massachusetts-based rival.

The board of directors of Indianapolis, Indiana-based Guidant Corporation said

it has immediately accepted the new terms, signaling their determination to accept the acquisition by the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based conglomerate Under the deal, which has now been revised at least three times, Johnson and Johnson will pay $40.52 in cash and 0.493 shares of its common stock.

This means Guidant shareholders will receive a total $71 a share based on Friday’s market close. On Wednesday, JNJ agreed to pay for Guidant $23.2 billion. But a rival bidder, Boston Scientific, raised its offer for Guidant from $72 to $73 a share on Thursday, forcing JNJ into a bidding war.

The deal still has to be approved by Guidant shareholders at a meeting scheduled for January 31, and JNJ’s sweetened offer appeared to be aimed at winning shareholders’ approval.