In the highly competitive textile industry, there are few business secrets. But nobody was prepared for two surprises pulled last week by Burlington Mills Corp., biggest U.S. producer of synthetic textiles. Burlington first startled the industry by announcing that it was buying control of Pacific Mills (about seventh-ranking producer of cottons and woolens). Other companies wanted Pacific, and one, M. Lowenstein & Sons, was actively bidding for it. Burlington moved in, raised the bid. By laying out $24.6 million, Burlington, in a day and a half, picked up 494,500 of Pacific's 959,052 shares, last week got control of Pacific's $79...

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