Mesa Bolsters Defenses Against Hostile Bid: The energy company’s board has approved a pay plan intended to retain employees while the company, under pressure from dissident shareholders, considers a sale or merger. Under the plan, Mesa officers generally would get twice their annual pay plus their average bonuses if Mesa changed hands and they lost their jobs within two years. Other employees would get smaller payments. Two investors, led by former Mesa executive David Batchelder, are pushing Mesa to take steps to move its stock price higher. Dennis Washington and Marvin Davis, who own 9.4% of the debt-laden natural gas company, are threatening to wrest control from Chairman and Chief Executive Boone Pickens.
<i> Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>