AS opponents of conglomerates tell it, the usual takeover scenario is a melodramatic affair involving a helpless target company and an unscrupulous interloper. The script has been scrambled in the case of Akron's B. F. Goodrich and its ardent but so far unsuccessful suitor, Northwest Industries. The rubber company's public relations and legal fight against Northwest's four-month-old takeover bid has been waged so well that, even though it is not yet over, it is looked upon as a classic corporate counteroffensive against an unwanted but aggressive merger partner.

Northwest President Ben Heineman appears...

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