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June 27, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:54pm


By CBR Staff Writer

If you thought Commodore was nothing more than yesterday’s disappearing act, think again, it is alive and well and living in Holland. In a strange twist of fate, Tulip Computers International BV, the Dutch supplier of personal computers has just announced it is to acquire Commodore BV for an as yet undisclosed sum, paid in newly issued Tulip shares. Commodore will continue to operate as a separate commercial operation with its own brand name still in tact. Tulip proposes to concentrate on its familiar professional market while Commodore will sell to the consumer. Tulip is claiming that the merged company will have a 10% share of the Dutch market and a new top ten placing in the European market as a whole. The fact that Commodore is still around at all is due to a management buy out of Commodore’s Dutch operation from the now defunct German company Escom AG. Commodore International Ltd was liquidated in 1994 but Escom purchased the rights to the Commodore name (together with the Amiga name and all rights to the associated technologies) for a reported $10m in a New York auction back in April 1995. Commodore was once second only to IBM Corp as the best known name in German computing, and Escom planned to badge its high end personal computers with the name and ride it to the top of the personal computer sales league in Europe. But things didn’t quite turn out that way and Escom AG subsequently ran into deep trouble, finally giving up the fight against its creditors in July last year. The Amiga division had previously been spun off into a separate Escom subsidiary called Amiga Technologies GmbH. With the holding company now bankrupt, Amiga Technologies was put up for sale and after two failed bids from American companies QuikPak Inc and Visual Information Services Inc, the Amiga legacy finally ended up at Gateway 2000 Inc in May this year. But what of Commodore? It seems that while Escom AG was drowning, the Dutch arm, Escom BV, was laying plans for its own survival. The management team purchased 25% themselves and brought in two venture capital firms who purchased the remaining 75% stake. Then unbeknownst to us, Escom BV changed its name to Commodore BV and has been quietly operating as an independent Dutch computer manufacturer since July 1996. Then enter Tulip.

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