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Options lined up to solve Thorn EMI Plc’s Inmos International problem now include selling a major stake to any one of a string of contenders that include Plessey Co, Fujitsu Ltd, Atari Corp and Next Inc, and a management buyout: the last seems extremely unlikely to succeed and Thorn is thought to favour Plessey taking a 70% stake, and although the Inmos top brass is unhappy about what Plessey is rumoured to have in mind – complete closure of the already shrunken Colorado Springs operation has been mentioned – Plessey and Ferranti Plc are the only two British companies that have exhibited any real commitment and staying power in the international semiconductor market.

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