Takeovers: Pickens on the Prowl

Once again it is time to play a favorite guessing game of corporate America: What is T. Boone Pickens Jr. really up to? In the latest of a series of raids on other oil companies, Pickens, chairman of Mesa Petroleum in Amarillo, Texas, and two partners last week announced an offer to buy 20.6% of Phillips Petroleum of Bartlesville, Okla., for $60 a share, or a total of $900 million. The Pickens group has already quietly bought shares amounting to 5.7% of Phillips. The group said the move was "a step in obtaining...

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