ACQUISITIONS: A Picture Perfect Rescue

A Picture Perfect Rescue

For nearly a century the name Eastman Kodak has been almost synonymous with photography. But in recent years the Rochester company has branched out into fields as far-ranging as computer disks and batteries. Last week Kodak made its most sweeping diversification move yet. The firm agreed to pay $5.1 billion to acquire Sterling Drug, the maker of such popular products as Bayer aspirin and Lysol cleaners. New York City-based Sterling welcomed the agreement as a way of escaping a takeover bid by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, the Swiss drug company.

The deal underscores Kodak's swift financial turnaround. In 1985 and 1986 the...

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