Business: I Am a Conglomerate

Some two years ago, Wall Street whiz-bang Meshulam Riklis assigned himself a Herculean task. He aimed to take over Schenley Industries, Inc., one of the nation's biggest distillers (1967 sales: $518 million), through a merger with Glen Alden Corp., part of the $1.4 billion sales complex that Riklis, 44, has shuffled together.

Riklis took first aim at Schenley's eccentric founder, chairman and controlling stockholder, Lewis Solon Rosenstiel, 76. The prospects hardly seemed promising. Rosenstiel had declared that 'I will probably never retire," and had exploded other merger deals. By last week, Riklis was...

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