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WHO WOULD FINANCE BUYOUT OF ICL ?

Management buyout proposals, which have gone to ground since Meltdown Monday, are expected to start reappearing later this year, but who would finance a buyout of ICL? The key is clearly the company’s chip supplier Fujitsu Ltd, which would almost certainly be delighted to take a stake of between 10% and 20% and would be prepared to guarantee that it wouldn’t in normal circumstances increase its stake for a given number of years: Japanese companies work on far longer timescales than do US and European ones, and if Fujitsu would be satisfied if it could see the prospect of controlling ICL in perhaps the year 2010; meantime the presence of the Japanese market leader as a long term investor would give UK financial institutions the confidence to help finance any buyout.

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CBR Staff Writer

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