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It was a corporate chess match the likes of which Venezuela had never seen. Virginia-based AES Corp., the largest U.S. power-plant developer, had set its sights on Grupo La Electricidad de Caracas. The management of the 105-year-old utility mounted a wide-ranging defense, determined to block Venezuela's largest-ever hostile takeover bid. It appealed to nationalism, sought help from securities regulators, and engineered a share buyback. But AES would not be defeated: With a week to go before its offer expired on June 12, it already had 52% of EDC's shares.
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