Business: Daring Marriage

A suitor for Firestone

Why should an aggressive, well-managed firm want to buy Firestone, the most troubled tire company in the land? Ask Borg-Warner (1977 sales of $2.03 billion), which last week announced a proposed merger that is really an $870 million takeover of the much larger tire and rubber maker ('77 sales: $4.4 billion). The advantages are clearer for Firestone and its unhappy stockholders than for Borg-Warner, which makes auto parts, air-conditioning gear, chemicals and plastics.

Firestone has lived this year with slumping profits, a falling stock price and bad publicity over alleged defects in its 500-series radial tires. Last week...

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