ICL declined comment yesterday on gossip flying around the market that Fujitsu Ltd had taken a 20% stake in the company but the talk was good for a 14 pence rise in parent STC Plc’s shares at 261 pence as they participated in the euphoria that took the main London indices to new all-time-highs. Another version had it that Fujitsu would pay UKP250m for 25% of ICL, but any announcement would have to wait for today, because Japan was closed for the three-day New Year holiday yesterday. Foreign minority shareholdings in ICL are definitely on the cards and separate deals have been discussed, variously involving Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA, Siemens AG and Nixdorf Computer AG, on holdings of between 15% and 20%. On the European front, a merger of ICL Espana with Fujitsu Espana would give the latter a larger product line for the local market.
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