MERGERS: Not-So-Tender Offer

Can steam generators be successfully combined with jet aircraft engines and high-rise elevators? Last week United Technologies Corp., the Hartford, Conn., aerospace conglomerate, ventured half a billion dollars to find out. The company declared its intention to buy up a11 12.6 million shares of Babcock & Wilcox Co., a leading New York-based manufacturer of coal-and nuclear-powered generators, for $42 a share in cash. The acquisition would unite two companies whose revenues last year totaled almost $7 billion.

The tender offer was the latest in a series by United's aggressive chairman, Harry Gray,...

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