Reaching for Conoco's Riches

Four corporate giants in the wildest merger whirl ever

The contest for control of Conoco, the energy company laden with 1.7 billion bbl. of oil reserves, 3.8 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas and 14.3 billion tons of coal, whirled on last week at a billion-dollar pace. The opponents: Du Pont, the largest U.S. chemical producer; Seagram, the world's biggest liquor distiller; Mobil, the second largest American petroleum company; and Texaco, the third-ranking oil firm. As the price for Conoco whirled higher and higher, the contestants launched a global financial free-for-all and corralled...

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