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'Junk Bond' Financiers Back Pickens : Bid for Unocal Gets Support of Some Top Takeover Artists

April 18, 1985|DEBRA WHITEFIELD | Times Staff Writer

The cadre of investors that T. Boone Pickens has lined up to finance his threatened takeover of Unocal reads like a Who's Who of "junk bond" financiers, many of whom have made hostile corporate acquisition attempts themselves.

Saul P. Steinberg of Reliance Group, a huge New York financial-services firm. The wealthy Canadian Belzberg family, whose investments are made through their First City Financial firm. Charles W. Knapp, ousted chairman of Financial Corp. of America, who now manages his investments through his Trafalgar Holdings concern. Nelson Peltz of Triangle Industries. Meshulam Riklis of Rapid-American Corp. Gene Phillips of Southmark Corp. Harold Simmons of Keystone.

These investors, all of whom have participated in earlier junk bond-financed takeover attempts, are among the best known of the 139 corporations and individuals identified Wednesday as the backers of the Pickens group's proposed two-step bid for Unocal.

Others on List

Also on the list, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are such well-known names in the financial community as Minneapolis financier Irwin Jacobs, through Minstar Inc., the firm he heads; the family of Roy E. Disney, through its private Shamrock Holdings, and Frederick W. Field, a member of the Marshall Field family of Chicago who now lives in Southern California.

The investors were assembled for the Pickens group by Drexel Burnham Lambert, the New York investment banking firm whose name is most associated with the proliferation of the high-yield, low-rated securities known as junk bonds. Drexel was hired by Pickens' Mesa Petroleum to raise $3 billion of the $3.9 billion in financing for the Unocal offer, a job it finished in a single week.

For the money, Drexel has turned to many of the same investors who lined up behind Carl C. Icahn's recent quest to take over Phillips Petroleum.

MAJOR INVESTORS JOINING THE PICKENS GROUP BID FOR UNOCAL Reliance Insurance $50 million Subsidiary of Reliance Group Holdings, New York concern headed by financier Saul P. Steinberg

Minstar Inc. $100 million Minneapolis investment firm headed by financier Irwin Jacobs

Bank of British Columbia $100 million Vancouver institution partially owned by the wealthy Belzberg family of Canada

First City Financial $65 million Vancouver, Canada investment firm controlled by the Belzberg family

McCrory Corp. $60 million Retailing subsidiary of Rapid-American Corp., New York conglomerate headed by financier Meshulam Riklis


Here is a complete list of the corporations and individuals who have agreed to invest in a proposed takeover of Unocal by the T. Boone Pickens investor group:

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