Merger Rules

The SEC tackles takeovers

The takeover fever that has infected American business continued to burn unabated last week. Beatrice Foods, which owns such brands as Tropicana orange juice, La Choy Oriental food and Swiss Miss chocolate mix, offered $2.8 billion for Esmark, which owns Playtex, Max Factor and Avis. The bid, which Esmark approved, topped by $400 million the offer made only three weeks earlier by the New York investment banking firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and was $300 million more than Beatrice's earlier bid.

Just as the advertisements appeared on business pages announcing...

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