Business: Takeovers

Now, retailing and starch

This year's wave of corporate takeovers already has swept up companies dealing in copper, oil, paper, beer, aspirin and dozens of other products. Last week the tide spread to retailing and starch. Los Angeles-headquartered Carter Hawley Hale, the sixth largest U.S. department store chain, proposed buying Chicago's venerable Marshall Field & Co. for an estimated $325.8 million — over Field's resistance. And Unilever United States Inc., a subsidiary of the giant Anglo-Dutch food and household products maker, bid $482 million for National Starch & Chemical Corp. of New Jersey, a maker of food products, plastics and adhe-sives —...

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