The first major commercial user of the Fairchild Clipper 32-bit chip set, Intergraph Corp of Huntsville, Alabama, is reportedly so concerned to ensure continuity of supply of the chip from the Schlumberger company that it is prepared to take up to 30% of Fairchild in the planned management buy-out. According to Electronic News, the addition of the engineering workstation builder would complete the line-up of investors for Fairchild Semiconductor. The others are the management itself, Fujitsu Ltd of Japan, now expected to take about 20%, and Schlumberger, which is expected to retain a minority holding in the chipmaker. A 30% stake is not likely to cost more than $50m, and may well come out at less, in which case Intergraph could well afford it. The company, which uses the Clipper chip set in its top-end InterPro-32 workstation, has a war chest that is estimated at near $100m in cash and cash equivalents.
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