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Taking quick advantage of the general plunge in share prices, acquisitive IRMA 3270 board originator Digital Communications Associates Inc, Alpharetta, Georgia, has slapped in a $175.5m share exchange offer for local area network hardware specialist Ungermann-Bass Inc. Ungermann characterised the bid as unsolicited and unwelcome. Digital Communications already holds 1m Ungermann shares, about 6%, and over 50% are held by institutions; GE also has 3%, which means that if the predator is determined, Ungermann is unlikely to be able to stage a successful defence. Digital Communications, which has just acquired local area networking software specialist Fox Research Inc – the Fox software is complementary to Ungermann’s hardware – and earlier acquired Crosstalk developer Microstuf Inc, says it is offering $9.75 of its own shares for each Ungermann, a 50% premium on the $6.875 at which the shares closed Friday. Its offer is subject to Ungermann shareholder approval, and to definitive agreement with the board – unlikely, since co-founder Ralph Ungermann reckons that the merger will not be in the best interest of shareholders. Ungermann-Bass has fallen 25% in the shakeout, but Digital Communications is off 31%.

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