After a fortnight of rising speculation (CI No 660), GEC finally confirmed on Thursday that it was in talks with Philips NV that could lead to a merger of their medical systems businesses to create a company with annual sales of $2,000m and 17,000 employees. GEC would be injecting its Picker acquisition from RCA and its pre-existing businesses, which together account for annual turnover of UKP420m – $672m – with UKP20m of operating profits. GEC is particularly strong in the US, Philips on the continent, and GEC makes up in its cash resources for the fact that Philips’ medical business is about twice the size.
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