ENTREPRENEURS: Going Bananas Over Bic

Brokers on the Paris Bourse had never seen anything like it. At least not over something so mundane as a disposable ballpoint pen. Last month, when Baron Marcel Bich sold a fraction of his pen company's 1,500,000 shares to the French public, investors went into a frenzy over Société Bic. On opening day there were offers for 8,000,000 shares, but only 300,000 were made available; the price promptly jumped from $176 to $208. Helped by that rise, Baron Bich's holdings in the company that he controls increased to some $200 million.

Last week the company got...

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