Business Abroad: The Takeover that Failed

Into London's Anglican Church of St. Vedast last week filed a rare body of worshipers—150 executives and employees of Courtaulds Ltd., Britain's biggest textile manufacturer, to offer corporate thanks for their "deliverance from anxiety." The cause of their rejoicing: the failure of giant Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. in its $596 million bid to swallow up Courtaulds and thereby achieve a near-monopoly of Britain's synthetic fiber industry. In the biggest takeover fight in the history of British business, I.C.I, had managed to acquire only 38.5% of Courtaulds' outstanding common shares—enough to make it Courtaulds' biggest single stockholder, but not enough to...

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