takeover artist

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Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

Cigar-chomping Ronald Perelman, now a billionaire but then a small-time takeover artist, was trying to use his newly acquired firm, Pantry Pride, to purchase much larger Revlon. Perelman had made it clear that whichever bank represented him in his battle against Revlon would receive enormous fees.

FIASCO: Blood In the Water on Wall Street by Frank Partnoy

Does “takeover artist” here have the same negative connotation as “con artist”? Or is it neutral here?
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would say it's somewhat negative. A takeover artist specializes in taking over other companies as a way to make a profit, instead of building up their own. That often leads to disruptions and layoffs and therefore people out of jobs. And that isn't always appreciated.
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