Martin was based in Baltimore and was primarily an aerospace concern with a recent focus on missiles, namely its Titan program. American-Marietta was headquartered in Chicago and produced paints, dyes, metallurgical products, construction materials, and other goods.
In 1982, Martin Marietta was subject to a hostile takeover bid by the Bendix Corporation, headed by William Agee. Bendix bought the majority of Martin Marietta shares and in effect owned the company. However, Martin Marietta's management used the short time separating ownership and control to sell non-core businesses and launch its own hostile takeover of Bendix (known as the Pac-Man defense). Thomas G. Pownall, CEO of Martin Marietta, was successful and the end of this extraordinarily bitter battle saw Martin Marietta survive; Bendix was bought by Allied Corporation.