An Incredible Shrinking Giant

Itt Plans to Shed Holdings Worth $1.7 Billion

In the 1960s and 1970s, ITT was the most voracious of a new breed of corporate giants that came to be known as conglomerates. Under the leadership of Harold Geneen, Wall Street's original Pac-Man, ITT gobbled up more than 275 companies; at one time the corporation produced everything from hydroelectric turbines to Twinkies. At its 1980 peak, ITT had annual revenues of more than $18 billion and was the 13th largest U.S. corporation. But as the company became more and more bloated, its debt surged, while profits and the value of its stock sagged.

After taking over from Geneen in 1980,...

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