Takeovers: Sir Jimmy's $2 Billion Move

By turns clever, dominating, quick-tempered and stubborn, British Industrialist Sir James Goldsmith, 51, rarely fails to excite speculation over his next takeover target. Last week the balding, staccato-voiced conglomerateur offered Continental Group, a company that had 1983 revenues of $5 billion from products that range from tin cans to life insurance, $50 a share for its stock, or $2.1 billion in cash. Said he: "It is a very good company. We admire the management."

Goldsmith always wanted to be a millionaire. At 20 he made international headlines by eloping with a Bolivian heiress, and in 1965 he began a long string...

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