Closings on cash acquisitions of public companies in 1989 declined 75 percent from 1988. But the premiums for control - the amount paid above what the stock traded for in a period prior to the takeover announcement - rose slightly, according to a financial advisory and investment banking firm. Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin says the premium for a controlling interest in all-cash deals was 54.6 percent at the end of the year versus 52.3 percent a year earlier.

Only 12 percent of the acquisitions were leveraged buyouts, down from 25 percent. The percentage of foreign buyers grew to 37 percent last year from 19 percent in 1988.

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