Pickens Says Hostile Takeovers Can Better Corporate America

Article excerpt

HOUSTON (AP) - T. Boone Pickens emerged from his multibillion-dollar takeover battle for Newmont Mining Corp. for some verbal sparring Wednesday over the issue of hostile corporate buyouts.

Pickens, a frequently harsh critic of U.S. corporate management, reiterated his stance that hostile takeovers reflected the ``purging of abuses that have gone on for years in corporate America.''

``I believe takeovers solve more problems than they create,'' Pickens told several hundred executives attending a session of a two-day forum on mergers and acquisitions.

Pickens is general partner of Mesa Limited Partnership, which is a member of an investor group attempting a hostile takeover of New York-based Newmont.

The group, Ivanhoe Partners, has launched a hostile $2.94 billion tender offer as the first stage of an attempt to take over Newmont.

Pickens was debated by John R. Schwemm, chairman and chief executive of R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co., the nation's biggest commercial printer.

Schwemm maintained hostile buyouts forced managers to concentrate on short-term financial performance to the detriment of their companies and the nation, sometimes caused job losses and took resources away from vital areas such as vital research and development.

Pickens said there was no evidence to support criticisms that hostile takeovers cut into research and development spending. He also said that although some takeovers led to payroll cuts at the target companies, the losses were bigger at some major companies that have not been threatened by unwanted buyouts. …