Britain: Comeback at Courtaulds

In the roughest takeover battle in British history, the ancient and slightly moribund textile-making firm of Courtaulds, Ltd. barely held off giant Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. last year by promising to mend its ways. The world's second biggest synthetic fiber manufacturer (after Du Pont), Courtaulds pledged an end to the secretive, damn-the-investor attitude prevailing since the firm was founded 147 years ago by Huguenot refugees named Courtauld. It also predicted that fiscal 1963 would bring a 30% rise in pre-tax earnings to $65 million.

Last week, to the dismay of those skeptical...

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