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July 19, 1990

STC CONFIRMS FUJITSU TALKS ON ICL BUT FORECAST STORM FAILS TO GATHER

By CBR Staff Writer

STC Plc yesterday confirmed that it was in discussions with Fujitsu Ltd about the latter taking a majority stake in ICL, and the UK government is unlikely to intervene if the deal goes ahead; there were some dark imprecations from trades unions but threats early in the day of a political storm failed to materialise, and the issue was not raised at Question Time in the Commons. The Department of Trade & Industry said that it was highly unlikely that ministers were privy to the discussions and that any such arrangement would be regarded as a purely private transaction between the companies. Tory backbench MP Kenneth Warren, who has taken an interest in ICL’s future over the years, said he was not surprised at the news and assumes that the Department of Trade & Industry and the Ministry of Defence will be looking into the matter to know Fujitsu’s position in relation to any sensitive government and defence contracts that ICL might hold: he thought the idea that the move constituted a national tragedy was absurd, saying ICL must go about its business in the best way it can; Fujitsu is a quality player in the world market and ICL should get on and do it. Another Tory backbencher, Emma Nicholson, who belongs to the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee, said that she was very, very sad indeed to hear the news – she is particularly sad to know that Britain cannot support computer manufacturing; Ms Nicholson began her career in 1961 as a programmer with ICL. The Japanese strategy – page 6

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