Business: New Skipper for U.S. Lines

After eight curious years, Kidde finds a flush investor

An investment in one of the U.S. oceangoing lines would seem now to be the most incautious of endeavors. Overcapacity and underpricing, especially by the Soviet Union, have driven a lot of companies to desperation. Pacific Far East Line has sheltered under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy laws. Farrell Lines has acquired American Export Lines, whose parent company was just discharged from Chapter 11.

Nonetheless, Malcom Purcell McLean, one of the lesser known captains of American business, has just anted up $111 million to buy U.S....

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