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February 1, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The possibility of a management buyout of Inmos International Plc from Thorn EMI Plc with part-financing from the Advent venture capital group, floated in the Sunday Telegraph, is not seen as having much chance of success: a key problem is that when IBM signed for vast quantities of the Inmos Colour Look-Up Table or CLUT for use in the Personal System/2, it demanded and won a guarantee from Thorn EMI of four years’ supply, and it is in the nature of a management buyout that such a guarantee, without the backing of a major industrial group, would be worth very little; IBM therefore has an effective veto on sale of the company to any new group that it did not fully trust and the guarantee to IBM is thought to have complicated the effort to find a buyer for the chipmaker.

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