A Golden Boy's Woe: I'm Virtually a Slave

When he burst upon the takeover scene in the early 1980s, Asher Edelman seemed to have a magic touch. Bright, brash and hyperconfident, he reaped more than $40 million in instant profits for himself and his investors by raiding and liquidating two dreary companies: Management Assistance, a computer maker, and Canal-Randolph, a real estate firm. Suddenly superrich, the Bard College graduate, reared on Long Island, N.Y., bought fashionable residences from Sun Valley to Switzerland, a 100-ft. yacht, a personal jet and a modern-art collection today rumored to be worth $100 million.

The battle cry of all raiders is to "maximize shareholder...

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