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November 16, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Wall Street’s scepticism at the bizarre bid from MAI Basic Four Inc for Prime Computer Inc was manifest in the fact that Prime’s shares put on only $2 to $17.75 on the announcement, well shy of the $20 it is valued at, and the adventure has all the hallmarks of one of those hysterical last flings that characterises the dying throes of a market craze – that of the excessively leveraged buyout of a company that then has to spend the next five years worrying whether its cash flow will be sufficient to service the mountain of debt: the fact that the share price is below the value of the bid suggests that observers believe there may be no-one more credible prepared to come in with a bid for Prime, and that the MAI offer will simply fail altogether, although its number two position to IBM in the CAD/CAM systems and software market should make it an appealing property to some majors.

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