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February 2, 1988

GEC AND PHILIPS TALK ON MERGING WORLDWIDE MEDICAL SYSTEMSAGREE

By CBR Staff Writer

GEC Plc seems to be uncommonly accident-prone in its joint venture – aborted efforts with Fairchild on chips, Hitachi on TVs spring to mind – but the announcement that the talks with Philips on merging their worldwide medical systems and equipment empires looks like a serious setback for both companies: the proposed venture was reportedly abandoned because of the wasting away of the US dollar – in the wake of Meltdown Monday, Philips’ profits from its medical electronics business dwindled and GEC did not believe the payment, put at about $150m, that it was to have made to take account of the fact that Philips’ business was twice the size of its own, was any longer justified; big lay-offs are now expected at the Philips business, and GEC needs to find a new strategy for Picker.

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