In 2001 UtiliCorp United Inc. (now Aquila, Inc.), an energy company with whom PAR had been doing business since the 1950s, began taking steps to gain control of Quanta. UtiliCorp owned about 36 percent of Quanta, an investment that was originally part of a strategic alliance when UtiliCorp outsourced all of its maintenance needs to Quanta. Quanta resisted, and in October 2001 the two parties signed a standstill agreement. A month later Quanta adopted a "poison pill" plan to prevent a takeover, prompting UtiliCorp to sue. A proxy fight ensued in the spring of 2002. Quanta maintained that UtiliCorp, which was enduring difficult times, wanted to gain controlling interest in order to consolidate Quanta's earnings with its own balance sheet. The fight came to an end in May 2002, as Quanta fended off the takeover bid.
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