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February 14, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Desultory gossip on Wall Street has had Unisys Corp preparing to make a bid for NCR Corp for a couple of months now, but it came to the surface on Thursday and saw NCR shares rise $1.125 and Unisys fall 62.5 cents to $33.875. Most observers dismiss the possibility of Unisys making a move on the grounds that it is much too soon after its creation by the merger of Sperry with Burroughs, but a move on NCR would be characteristic of the brute force approach of Unisys chief Michael Blumenthal towards creating a company with the critical mass to stand up to IBM. The big concern among Unisys watchers is that while the integration of the two companies, and alleviation of the debt burden incurred in the acquisition, seem to have been superbly well managed, so that the company is now in a healthy financial position, Unisys is growing as slowly as IBM. NCR on the other hand is still showing healthy double-digit growth – likely to be stalled by any merger – and NCR is unlikely indeed to capitulate meekly.

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