The offer by Siemens AG to take a controlling interest in Intertechnique SA’s Pick-popping computer subsidiary Intertechnique Informatique SA, IN2 (CI No 1,084) has mobilised the nationalists at ambitious and hungry Bull SA, and France’s flagship computer company is expected to make a counter offer for the business any day now. Bull’s interest could well turn the sale into an auction, because there is likely to be interest on this side of the channel, not only from STC Plc, which has finally decided to devote a little money to building up ICL, but also from one or two of the smaller Pick-poppers. Intertechnique, which holds 70% of IN2, says that it is ready to sell the business only because it received an offer for it: a board meeting is set for next week, and it is expected to announce its decision – thought likely to be to give Bull first refusal, on Jan uary 16 or 17. Despite suggestions to the contrary, it says IN2 will report 1988 profits up on the $9.3m or so it did in 1987, on sales up 13.5% at $190m or so. If Siemens does get the nod, it is likely to buy a 51% of Intertechnique’s 70%, ultimately going up to 60% of IN2, leaving Intertechnique with 10%. In any event, IN2 will remain free-standing and continue manufacture.
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