STC Plc has terminated its technology sharing and co-operation agreement with 24.5% shareholder ITT Corp in a move that leaves the STC Data Systems arm of ICL looking even more exposed. The ties have been cut following ITT’s sale of 63% of its computer and telecommunications interests to the new Alcatel NV company created by CGE of France, because STC is a direct competitor with CGE’s cable interests. The 24.5% stake in STC remains with ITT rather than going into Alcatel – but ITT says it has no immediate plans to sell it. STC Data Systems markets the 3270 displays, Xtra Personalikes and NCR-Comten IBM-compatible front-end communications processors now sold by Alcatel in the rest of Europe, and as a 100% IBM plug-compatible shop, is a very uncomfortable bedfellow indeed for ICL; ICL is also expected shortly to come out with its own Personalike, making for even greater friction with the orphan business. The most likely development is that STC will sell the STC Data Systems business, which does some UKP20m a year, to Alcatel, giving it its third base in the UK market – but STC Data says that two other options are under consideration, but declines to say what they are. Other small ITT computer companies now under the Alcatel banner and also operating in the UK market include RC Computer of Denmark, Computer-Technik Muller of West Germany, and Holland Automation, Netherlands.
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