Why `Mr. Spud' Is Eyeing Morrison Knudsen

Retirement doesn't mean much to J.R. Simplot. The 86-year-old Idaho billionaire who made his fortune selling frozen french fries to McDonald's Corp., stepped down from his post as chairman of his $2 billion agribusiness, J.R. Simplot Co., in April, 1994, but he hasn't slowed a whit. Since then, he has agreed to build a luxury hotel, developed a Boise subdivision, and is believed to have engineered a management shakeup at Micron Technology Inc., the Idaho chipmaker in which he has a 21.5% stake. But his biggest feat may be yet to come: rescuing troubled Morrison Knudsen Corp.

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