Deft Defenses: Corporate Takeovers

Embattled managers who hope to avoid corporate takeovers can draw upon a wide array of defenses. Many have acquired exotic names: Pac-Man, shark repellent, white knight. Some are more effective than others, and none, alas, work all the time.

The first step is to hire outside advisers, including an investment bank and a law firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions. Among law firms, New York City's Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, for example, is well known for keeping unwanted suitors away. So feared is the firm's takeover specialist, Joseph Flom, 60, that...

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