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Foreign Takeover Interest Cited

From Times staff and wire service reports

Foreign firms approached 17% of the largest U.S. companies about possible takeovers last year, according to a study released today by Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Only a handful of such initial approaches by overseas firms became public or amounted to a bid, the survey found.

The study--a survey of the chief executive officers of 95 corporations with annual sales of at least $1 billion--also found that while 60% of the respondents felt that foreign ownership tends to maximize shareholder value, just over half said they would prefer a U.S. firm as a new owner if they were taken over.

Slightly fewer than 23% of the CEOs reported being approached by a prospective domestic buyer last year.

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Two-thirds of the chief executives responding to the survey said they were more interested in joint ventures and similar linkups with foreign companies than they were in selling.


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