Horror stories about the poor performance of Thorn EMI Plc’s software marketing business in the US have been filtering across the water for years, and the company has finally decided to give a substantial part of the business best. Thorn EMI Computer Software has agreed to sell the US software distribution business to Pilot Executive Software Inc, whose Pilot executive information Systems are marketed by Thorn in Europe. Pilot is sold in Europe integrated with Thorn’s FCS decision support programs, and the move in the US means that the same integrated product line can be offered there as well. For Pilot, based right in Boston, Massachusetts, the trade increases its customer base to 800 from just 150. Terms of the transfer were not disclosed, but Thorn will receive some cash from Pilot, where it is already a major shareholder, but won’t reveal the size of the stake. $10m-a-year Pilot grows 50% to 150 people. Two other Thorn EMI software businesses, Datasolve and Software Sciences, continue to operate in the US.
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