Compaq Computer Corp has made it clear that while other companies are prepared to pay $25m or more for networking start-ups that consist of a half dozen engineers, a secretary, a janitor and one fairly good idea, it is not going to expand its fledgling networking equipment business by acquisition, but yesterday it revealed that it had found something worth buying that was available at an acceptable price. It is to make a tender offer for Norwood, Massachusetts-based modem-maker Microcom Inc for $16.25 a share cash, $280m all told. The Microcom board and management have approved the acquisition and will recommend it to shareholders. Microcom did $2.8m net on sales of $131.2m for the nine months to December, putting in on track for some $180m for the year. Cisco Systems Inc and Galdalf Technologies Inc both embed its modems in remote access devices. Despite the lack of action until now, Compaq remains fully committed to the network equipment business and maintains a medium term target of taking 15% of the remote access market. Microcom will join a division with 600 employees, a number expected to double by year-end before the acquisition. With Telebit gone to Cisco and US Robotics Inc on its way to 3Com Corp, only Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc and Boca Research Inc now remain of the independent modem majors.