Acquisitions: Invasion from the Armchair

James J. Ling, 45, chairman of Dallas-based Ling-Temco-Vought Inc., is a military buff who describes the conferences that lead up to his corporate takeovers as "war games." Last week, after a long war game, Ling made a tender offer for a controlling 62% of the stock of Pittsburgh's Jones & Laughlin Steel Co., the nation's fifth largest steelmaker. The offer meant that LTV stood ready to ante up $425 million in one of the largest cash tender offers ever made; at $85 per share, it also meant that Ling, to ensure quick...