Birmingham based-Apricot Computers Plc was in London yesterday talking informally about how recent developments had affected the structure and direction of the organisation as a whole, especially in the wake of the acquisition of ITL Plc, which meant 175 of ITL’s staff losing their jobs (CI No 1,317). Apricot denied that this could be described as asset-stripping, arguing that the loss-making areas needed trimming anyway. Apricot sees its future direction as being an open systems integrator, and is incorporating ITL into its existing structure accordingly: ITL’s Cablestream division will go in with Apricot’s own network and cabling business, while its maintenance group will continue independently, while reporting to Apricot’s main tenance division to allow the two services to be eff iciently coordinated. A new Systems Integration company will be formed out of ITL’s Consultancy and Software Services arm, and Apricot’s extensive public sector operations; Apricot Financial Systems and Signex, acquired around 18 months ago by Apricot, will continue unchanged. When asked what it thought of merchant bank Singer & Friedlander’s interest in it – Singer & Friedlander wants to increase its pres ent 14% plus holding in Apricot to at least 20% – Apricot claimed that it found this interest by and large gratifying, although it was still not sure what Singer & Friedlander was intending to do with its stake. Apricot will be formally announcing more details about strategy and structure next month.
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