Upping the Ante

The fight for Cities Service

Megabuck mergers have become almost commonplace on Wall Street in the last couple of years, but last week there was one so huge and unexpected that even the most jaded brokers blinked in surprise. In a startling new twist to an ongoing takeover battle between Mesa Petroleum Co. and Cities Service Co., the Gulf Oil Corp. entered the fray. Gulf, the ninth largest U.S. industrial corporation (1981 sales: $28 billion), announced that it had worked out a friendly takeover deal with Cities Service (1981 revenues: $8.5 billion). Gulf agreed to pay $5.04 billion for 100% of Cities...

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