CORPORATIONS: Underwater Bargain

Among the business opportunities advertised in the New York Times was a tempting come-on. On the block was a manufacturing business which was "absolute leader in its field. . . . Present production volume largest in history. . . . Because the well-to-do owners are obliged to put their affairs in more liquid condition they will accept a fraction of the real value of the business."

This "absolute leader" turned out to be Chicago's Reynolds Pen Co., first and foremost exploiter ($20,857,000 sold in two years) of ball-point pens. But why were Chairman "Milton Reynolds and President Franklin Lamb willing...

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