No Easy Way Out for Abbott as Deal Target Faces Bribery Probe

  • Alere disclosed in March some overseas units are investigated
  • Corruption cases usually not a deal-breaker, lawyers say

Abbott Laboratories tried to end its $5.8 billion agreement to buy Alere Inc. after finding out in mid-March that the medical-testing company was swept up in a U.S. probe of bribery overseas. Alere’s shares, meanwhile, are trading at levels suggesting that investors have their doubts about the transaction -- at least at the current price.

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