Technology for Business Plc has now confirmed our Friday story that the City of London company had agreed to buy CPU Computers Plc’s LSI Computers division (CI No 615), but no further details were forthcoming on Friday, and the agreement is subject to completion of funding arrangements – presumably a vendor placing of new Technology for Business shares. No word yet on plans for the business, which makes the Octopus personal computer that combines MS-DOS and 8-bit CP/M environments, and is strong on ICL communications – or on the 80286-based machine that was to have been launched this month. On the face of it, with Rair Ltd already in the group, Technology for Business will have a surfeit of similar machines if it continues the LSI line indefintely, so that in the medium term, it is likely to treat the acquisition primarily as a source of new customers – and marketing outlets: LSI has been selling the Octopus through some 20 franchises, and a year ago was doing 150 a month. It was looking for some UKP5m from the business in its last fiscal, but LSI has been going into decline, and has had to lay off substantial numbers of staff. The machines had done well in France, which may enable Technology to expand marketing of the already-established Rair machines there. The Octopus has also done well in some very unlikely markets, including South America, Turkey, the Middle East, as well as Holland and Switzerland – most of which should represent new markets for Rair.
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