The Limited Inc., which had repeatedly vowed to continue its challenge of Carter Hawley Hale Stores' successful defense against the Ohio company's takeover attempt, has quietly dropped all litigation against and sold all of its stock holdings in the Los Angeles-based retailer.
In a related development, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had also posed a legal challenge to Carter Hawley's complex defense, said it plans to dismiss its suit against the company. The agency's move was expected, since it recently received formal notification that it had lost an appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of Carter Hawley.
End of Bitter Battle
The two developments mark the conclusion of a bitter, controversial corporate takeover battle. It began April 3, 1984, when the Limited launched a surprise and unwelcome $1.1-billion bid to buy Carter Hawley, parent of the Broadway, Neiman-Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and other chains.
As part of its defense, Carter Hawley soon purchased 51%, or 17.9 million shares, of its own stock for $470 million. It also sold 1 million shares of a new issue of preferred stock for $300 million to Boston-based General Cinema, which received a 37% voting stake in the firm and a six-month option to purchase Carter Hawley's Waldenbooks book store subsidiary.