MERGERS: Chow Time for Philip Morris

Chow Time for Philip Morris

Hunger pains seem to come regularly for Philip Morris, the food-and-tobacco giant. Although it acquired General Foods in 1985 and Kraft in 1988, the company (1989 revenues: $44.8 billion) was still on the lookout for new morsels. Last week Philip Morris said it agreed to spend $3.8 billion to gobble up Zurich-based Jacobs Suchard AG, the world's third largest producer of coffee and confections. Among Suchard's best-known brands: Tobler chocolate.

The Swiss firm apparently was agreeable to a takeover because its chairman, Klaus Jacobs, had incurred $500 million in debt when he bought out his family's interest in the company. That...

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