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October 17, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Cray Research Inc tells Reuters that it expects to return to the black in 1996, but there will be further restructuring costs this year, although it did not elaborate: it has suffered smaller government budgets in the last year and turnover is lower although orders in hand so far this year are higher than the total for 1994; Cray said it recognised it needed to do more marketing and commercial sales and cut costs through technology partnerships; it is talking to existing partners Sun Microsystems Inc and Digital Equipment Corp and other companies and said it places great emphasis on Japan, where Itochu Corp and Canon Inc aid sales.

As part of its ongoing expansion programme, PanAmSat Corp, Greenwich, Connecticut has requested US government approval to operate several new international communications satellites that will expand its broadcast and telecommunications services throughout the Americas by the year 2000: it wants approval to operate international communications satellites in orbital locations in space traditionally reserved for domestic US satellites to provide international communications over the C-band and Ku-band frequencies; PanAmSat also wants approval to operate two new satellites for international communications over the higher frequency Ka-band to enable it to provide commercial applications for video and data communications by the end of the decade; it currently operates three satellites with three more under construction.

L M Ericsson AB has an order worth over $14m with Swedish state phone company Telia AB for optical cable in 1996 and 1997 mainly duct and submarine cables containing from 12 to 96 optical fibres: the submarine cables, environmentally sound because they are sheathed in copper instead of lead, were developed jointly by the two Swedish firms.

Fairfax, Virginia-based Infodata Systems Inc has definitive agreement to acquire Merex Inc, Rockville, Maryland for 125,000 new shares; Merex will become its electronic document management systems services and solutions arm and will assume responsibility for existing contracts and staff, save for ones in the US intelligence community.

Eastman Kodak Co has leaped up to reveal that its revolutionary Organic Electroluminescent Display technology is the basis of that new flat panel plasma display from Pioneer Electronic Corp (CI No 2,767): it granted the Japanese company a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing licence for its application in a variety of flat panel display devices for non-photographic applications.

That’s the way to give currency to a weak rumour! Widespread rumours continued to circulate around Wall Street circles and elsewhere which say IBM Corp is negotiating to acquire all or part of Novell Inc, the report says, adding the companies reportedly met in Scottsdale, Arizona, last week – well yes, of course they did, but so did almost every other major in the business – they were all there for one of those big industry get-togethers.

Siemens AG has won a $35m contract to supply and install 20 new main digital exchanges and 80 sub-exchanges to double Jordan’s telephone network capacity by 1997 as part of a $200m project to add an extra 300,000 lines, state-owned Telecommunications Corp told Reuters: Alcatel NV and L M Ericsson AB also bid in the tender and two other major tenders in the national project are expected to be awarded next month, Jordan Telecom said.

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Sprint Cellular Co and Southeastern Cellular Inc have a letter of intent for Sprint to buy Southeastern operations in eastern North Carolina from Greenville to the Outer Banks of the state coast, an area with 241,000 population: with this acquisition Sprint will provide service to an area with more than 70% of the population of North Carolina; the financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

BancTec Inc has completed its acquisition of fellow Texan Recognition International Inc (CI No 2,762) and the combined company is to be known as BancTec: it is expected to have annual turnover of about $500m and will incur a restructuring charge of around $75m to consolidate the two companies; Recognition shareholders get 0.59 share of BancTec stock for each share of Recognition stock owned.

Oracle Corp says its Oracle Power Objects software has been shipped to Apple Computer Inc’s developer and reseller sales channels and said Apple’s APDA, its source for development tools, will offer Oracle Power Objects Standard Edition 1.0 for $100 for a limited time: Oracle said the software, a visual programming tool to support simultaneous development on Windows and Macintosh, is expected to increase the number of client-server applications accessible to Mac users.

Sanyo Electric Co Ltd will launch a portable car navigation unit on November 1 which uses satellites to pinpoint the location of the car, has a 3.3 colour liquid crystal display and can also show broadcast television, pictures stored on CD-ROMs and can play audio CDs on an internal speaker: it weighs 34.5 oz and measures 5.4 by 8.7 by 2.2; it costs $1,487 and Sanyo plans to produce some 3,000 units a month.

Sun Microsystems Inc’s president Scott McNealy has a bon mot for every occasion, and he characterises Windows95 as Microsoft Corp’s contribution to child-minding: saying the thing is not user friendly, he told Reuters that it would provide hours of safe activity in the home for children as they battled to get the thing to work on their baffled parents’ home computers.

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