Pennzoil's Trip Down A Slippery Slope

Oil tycoon J. Hugh Liedtke isn't one to be trifled with. Back in 1965, Pennzoil Co.'s chairman deftly executed a hostile raid on United Gas Corp., a large gas pipeline operator, remaking his company into a major player in the oil patch. Consider, too, that when Texaco Inc. snatched Getty Petroleum Corp. from Pennzoil's clutches in 1984, Liedtke instinctively went for the jugular. He slapped Texaco with a $15 billion lawsuit, charging it with illegally usurping Pennzoil's pending merger deal with Getty. In the end, Texaco declared bankruptcy and forked over a $3 billion settlement to Pennzoil. Talk about sweet revenge.

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