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August 14, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co is to take an initial 10% stake in voice- processing manufacturer Octel Communications Corp, Milpitas, California as part of an agreement under which Hewlett will distribute Octel’s Aspen Automated Speech Exchange Network speech processing systems throughout Europe. The two will integrate Octel systems with Hewlett’s computers and electronic mail systems, enhancing the functions of both companies’ offerings, and Hewlett will Octel systems under its own name to major European companies and US subsidiaries in Europe, and to European telephone operating companies wanting to provide enhanced services such as cellular or residential voice-messaging services. Financial terms of the OEM pact, which runs for 66 months, were not disclosed, but Hewlett is to pay $18.87 a share, some $13.8m, for a 5% stake and will buy another 5% on the open market over the next 18 months. After one year, it has the right to increase its stake to 20%, but Octel insists that the agreement protects its autonomy and it is not looking to be acquired.

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