Mergers: A Multimillion-Dollar Handshake

The deal was sealed with a handshake only a few days after the two men had been introduced by a mutual friend. They were not nearly ready to discuss the matter with their boards of directors, much less the public. But word soon began seeping out, and both knew that the Securities and Exchange Commission takes a dim view these days of executives who hold back news of pending deals. Thus last week the top men of Xerox Corp. and C.I.T. Financial Corp. announced plans to join their companies in one of the largest corporate mergers in history.

The transaction...