Corporations: Fertilizing the Oil Business

Gasoline and fertilizer seem an unlikely combination, but this year half a dozen U.S. oil companies have linked with fertilizer manufacturers, or started to do so. Among the major deals: Kerr-McGee merged with Baugh Chemical, Cities Service picked up Tennessee Corp., Socony Mobil has bid for Virginia-Carolina Chemical. Last week Pittsburgh's Gulf Oil, whose sales of $2.8 billion in 1963 made it the nation's eighth largest company, announced one of the biggest deals of all.

For about $150 million, Gulf intends to acquire Kansas City's young and spunky Spencer Chemical Co., which...

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