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Takeover Talk Stirs Campbell Stock

From Reuters

Campbell Soup Co.'s share price jumped almost 15% Monday on takeover speculation following news that former Chairman John T. Dorrance Jr., whose family controls nearly 58% of its stock, died over the weekend.

Campbell’s stock jumped $4.875, or 14.6%, to $38.25 as the third most active issue on the New York Stock Exchange. When the market opened, trading in Campbell was delayed for nearly an hour.

Securities analysts said the former chairman’s death ignited takeover speculation because Dorrance family members may consider selling their stake in the food company, best known for its wide range of red-and-white labeled soups.

“Everyone knew that Jack (John Dorrance) did not want to sell. Maybe now his family would be more amenable to selling,” said securities analyst Pavlos Alexandrakis of Argus Research Corp.

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Dorrance’s family controls nearly 58% of Campbell’s shares through family trusts, the company said.


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