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Seagram fails on Conoco but still buys its shares

The Canadian-based Seagram liquor giant, which came in second to the Du Pont Company in a three-way bidding war for Conoco Inc., is nevertheless seeking increased investment in the oil and coal company.

Seagram announced it acquired 25.3 million shares, or a 25 percent stake, of Conoco and would try to buy up to a total of 44.35 million shares by the time its $92-a-share offer expires tonight (Aug. 7). Seagram has not disclosed its intentions, but there has been speculation that will try to acquire the huge Consolidation Coal Company, a Conoco subsidiary.

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Meanwhile, Du Pont increased its holdings to 62 percent of Conoco stock from the 55 percent controlling interest acquired at a cost of $7.4 billion.