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  1. Technology
January 12, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

AT&T Co is to make an unspecified investment in its AT&T & Philips Telecommunications BV joint venture on public telephone equipment to increase its stake in the venture with Philips NV to 60% from 50%. Philips indicates that it wants to de-emphasise public telephony in favour of information technology and private communications. The joint venture is also actively looking for additional European partners, although neither would say which of the present two partners would reduce its stake to let in others; all the signs however are that the Philips stake would be diluted more than the AT&T. The additional investment by AT&T will give the joint venture access to more of the technology developed at AT&T Bell Laboratories, expanding the product line with more AT&T equipment. Philips joined the venture in part because its public switching technology was ageing and it did not want to make the necessary investments to modernise it on its own. The joint company will continue to have its manufacturing and development facilities in Europe. AT&T & Philips Telecommunications has doubled annual turnover since 1984 and in 1987 won major switching and transmission contracts, mainly in the effectively captive Netherlands market. Sales last year were about $485m, and are forecast to rise 30% this year. The company’s pre-tax losses in 1987 were under $27m, down from $38m in 1986.

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