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September 2, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 9:15pm

OLIVETTI’S SYSTEMS AND SERVICES DIV ON ITS WAY TO WANG LABS?

By CBR Staff Writer

Rumors that the troubled Ing C Olivetti SpA may be about to sell off its recently re-packaged systems and services group Olsy to Wang Laboratories Inc would seem to make sense for both parties. Struggling to reduce its mounting debts last year, Olivetti made various commitments to selling off non core businesses, and speculation was rife about the fate of the loss-making personal computer arm, although it remained unclear at the end of last year exactly which businesses would be sold. In what looked like a bid to distance its Olivetti Solutions SpA business – which with sales of some 1.5bn pounds accounts for about half of Olivetti’s revenues – from the troubled parent, and also perhaps to ready it for being sold off, Olivetti changed its name to Olsy at the beginning of this year. From Wang’s point of view, the company has slimmed itself down to become solely a networking and desktop systems specialist and following the sale of its imaging business to Eastman Kodak Inc earlier this year, the company turned in healthy profits of $69.9m against losses of $600,000 for the same period last year. With the $260m it got from Kodak, Wang finished its financial year to June 30 with its debts paid off and $242m in the bank, leaving it on the look out for complementary acquisitions. Olsys European activities and user base would no doubt be attractive to Wang, while if Olivetti could complete the sale, it would have fulfilled a major component of its recovery strategy.The Italian company did not return our calls by press time.

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