Mergers: The Opportunity List

At merger-minded Litton Industries, each of the 50 divisions draws up an annual "opportunity review," which looks five years ahead at technologies, situations and companies that the firm ought to be getting into. The managers of the fastest-growing firm in U.S. business history judge potential merger mates by three measures, in order of importance: 1) Does the product line fit with ours? 2) Is the management right? 3) Is the price right? One company that seemed made to measure was well-managed and profitable Diebold, Inc., the nation's largest manufacturer of banking equipment, with 1965 sales of $77 million from...

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