High Finance: Winner by a Knockout

When it became evident two years ago that Woolworth Heir Allan Kirby at 68 was losing the proxy fight for control of his Alleghany Corp., his ally Gene Tunney offered some ringside advice: "Sometimes, Allan, you have to get off the canvas to win."

Last week Kirby did that. Having worn down his onetime conquerors, he paid $10.5 million to buy 1,000,000 Alleghany shares and regain control. Two Kirby allies bought 600,000 additional shares, picked their opponents clean of Alleghany holdings. The sellers were the very men who had beaten Kirby in 1961: Dallas Millionaire John Murchison, 41, and his...

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