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November 6, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Nippon Mining Co made little secret of the fact that it was unlikely to hang on to supermini manufacturer Gould Computer Systems Inc, the first indication being that Gould president James Macdonald was saying only a day after the agreed bid was announced that he might seek to take the business in a management buy-out (CI No 1,006). Now two names are cited as possible buyers – Motorola Inc and Harris Corp, neither of which is very surprising since Motorola has decided to pull out all the stops to ex-pand its computer business, and Harris Corp, which lives just down the road from Gould’s Fort Lauderdale base in Melbourne, Florida, needs to achieve critical mass for its computer business if it is to survive. But according to Electronic News, Mot-orola may mainly be interested in Gould’s Tempesting military computer business, while Harris may want to close down the manu-facturing side and seek to wean Gould’s customers over to its own machines. Meantime, to facilitate a sale, the division has been split in two, with a General Computer Division in San Diego for the company’s proprietary top-end machines, and a Computer Systems Division in Fort Lauderdale concentrating on real-time Unix systems. The Gould computer business would offer one of the few opportunities for Europeans such as GEC Plc and Norsk Data A/S to get into the US computer market, but so far, only Siemens AG has reportedly shown interest – has but walked away from any deal.

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