DEALS: Keeping It All In the Family

Keeping It All In the Family

For the past two months, rumors have been flying that Southland Corp. was ripe for takeover. A roster of raiders were said to be eyeing the company that operates the ubiquitous 7-Eleven chain of 7,700 convenience stores and owns 50% of Citgo Petroleum. Last week the family that holds a 10% interest in Southland made a deft maneuver. John, Jere and Jodie Thompson, whose father Joe founded the firm in 1927, offered to buy the rest of the company for $3.8 billion, or $77 a share, and take it private. Just seven weeks ago, Southland stock traded at $48. But investors...