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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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47. THE RAIDERS

IT SEEMED AT FIRST the most unlikely of takeover bids. In the fall of 1985, a relatively small supermarket chain called Pantry Pride moved against Revlon, one of America’s great companies. Revlon had brought in $2.4 billion in revenues during the previous year, and its net worth was estimated at some $2 billion while Pantry Pride’s rested at $120 million—a differential of sixteen to one. Pantry Pride was about to pull off what in the eyes of some Wall Street observers was the quintessential hostile take over—that is, Wall Street’s new brand of merger, in which companies were consumed without their consent. A deal like this could never have been attempted under normal circumstances, but Wall Street had conveniently come up with ...

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