Dayton Hudson, the Minneapolis-based parent of Target and Mervyn's, confirmed Friday that Dart Group has been aggressively buying its stock, and it began extensive efforts to fight a takeover.
Bolstering its defenses in the face of what appeared to be an imminent hostile takeover bid, the retailer met Thursday afternoon with Minnesota Gov. Rudy G. Perpich to request a special legislative session to consider toughening the state's 1983 anti-takeover law. In that meeting at Dayton Hudson headquarters, company Chairman Kenneth A. Macke proposed six amendments that would make Minnesota's law similar to Indiana's tough anti-takeover legislation, which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court.
In a statement Friday, the governor said he is considering the request. Mara Johnson, a spokeswoman, quoted Perpich as saying: "We will not act hastily, but we will not hesitate to protect a good Minnesota company that provides jobs to Minnesotans."
A Dayton Hudson spokesman said the company mailed a letter Friday to its 115,000 employees indicating that the company was communicating with an "aggressive accumulator of stock" that it later identified as Dart Group, a company that had for several days been rumored to be interested in the company. Dart Group has routinely declined comment.