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January 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:23pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Painfully emaciated personal computer manufacturer AST Research Inc has had to go running to its South Korean sugar daddy for sustenance yet again. Samsung Electronics Co nominally owns around 46% of AST, but in reality owns its very soul, and in its desire not to load itself down with any more equity, is having to come up with ever more ingenious excuses to advance AST further money. This time, it is giving it a sub of $10m in return for families of patent applications relating to a semiconductor design project that was never actually used by the company. On the strength of this, Irvine, California-based AST has managed to persuade its bankers to increase its credit line to $300m – it renewed an existing $200m credit line with a consortium of nine banks, led by Bank of America, and negotiated lines of credit totalling $100m from Bank of America, ABN Amro NV and Societe Generale SA – but of course the credit lines are all guaranteed by Samsung. And funds from the credit lines will be used to repay a $50m short-term loan from Samsung.

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