Never Mind

A billion-dollar back-out

American Express apparently leaped before it looked hard enough. Little more than a month after it had trumpeted an agreement to buy Investors Diversified Services, the main subsidiary of Alleghany Corp. and a major marketer of mutual funds and life insurance, American Express last week backed out of the deal The company was admitting, as Wai Street had been saying all along, that the price for IDS, some $1 billion in American Express stock or nearly three times Alleghany's book value, was too high American Express left open the possibility of a new agreement but only with "revised terms...

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