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October 11, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Compagnie des Machines Bull SA’s Open Systems & Software Division president Alain Couder said that in the middle of its subscription process, Compagnie des Machines Bull SA’s employees own 3.9% of the company’s shares, and the French government’s stake will be less than 10% by 1997. At present it stands at 53.4%, including the 17% held by state-owned France Telecom – but all parties like to promulgate the fiction that that 17% is not state-owned. Couder said the division had its first positive operating margin for seven years in the first half of this year, adding that the first half will represent 45% of total revenues. In terms of partnerships, the relationship with IBM Corp, which has clearly been on rocky ground recently, is set to continue: Couder said we need them and they need us. He said that on September 11 IBM stumped up the cash to avoid its stake being diluted further than 1.6% (CI No 2,746). Another meeting between the two is scheduled for this month. Couder said Bull and Motorola Inc were to team up to develop fault-tolerant PowerPC machines, with Bull focussing on the medium and high-end machines and Motorola on the low end. Bull has set up a new Telecom business unit within the Open Systems & Software division with the aim of turning the joint development work it has done with France Telecom into products for other phone companies.

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