Fighting Back

Marathon fends off Mobil

When the long-awaited assault came, Marathon Oil was well prepared to man the battlements. Within hours after the Mobil Corp. announced its $5.1 billion bid to buy the 17th largest U.S. petroleum company, members of Marathon's big-time defense team were flying to its small-town headquarters in Findlay, Ohio (pop. 38,000). Marathon was putting into action the now classic defense in a takeover battle.

One of the oil company's first steps was to summon its group of outside advisers. They included: Bruce Wasserstein and Joseph Perella, investment bankers with First Boston Corp., a Wall Street firm; Joseph Flom, a lawyer...

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