Two hot take-over rumors have found their way into The San Jose Mercury News. The first is that Walt Disney Co is looking at buying Apple Computer Inc; a notion that has done the rounds before. But the second, that Eastman Kodak is going to buy Silicon Graphics Inc – or pieces of it – isn’t one we’ve heard before. It should come as no surprise to learn that there is a question mark over SGI’s future: the company admits the arrival of new CEO Rick Belluzzo will enable it to execute some long- gestating plans. One of those is supposedly the spinning out of its Mips RISC business. Kodak badly needs to make up ground in the digital photography business, where it is falling behind other players, notably Hewlett-Packard and Intel, and can expect to meet fierce competition in the digital product market from Japanese consumer electronics giants Sony and Casio. It has also being hammered in its traditional market by Fuji Photo Film Co. Last quarter Kodak took a $1.5bn charge and said it would lay off 16,600 workers in an attempt to turn its fortunes around (CI No 3,315). SGI has impressive imaging hardware and software which Kodak could make use of. Kodak has recently invested in digital imaging companies Live Picture and Picture Vision; its balance sheet says it has around $750m cash.
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