US financier Gary Klesch's bid to buy Olivetti's PC division appeared to be over last week following a bid from a rival suitor.
Olivetti declined to comment this week, but it is believed to have broken off talks with Klesch following a surprise bid from an unnamed European industrial firm.
The Klesch-led group had outlined its plans for the PC division in a letter to Olivetti vice chairman Giorgio Garuzzo. The group said it planned to make the PC business profitable again without moving production from Italy and retaining the company's 1,800-strong workforce.
But the decision to end negotiations with Klesch was influenced by Olivetti's concern that selling the unit to financial investors would cause trouble with unions and politicians in Italy.
Olivetti chief executive Roberto Colannino said last month that the sale of the PC division would be completed by the end of the year.
Another element of Olivetti's recovery strategy was completed last week when it sold 8% of its 59% stake in cellular phone company Omnitel to German company Mannesmann.
The stake was sold for L432.5 billion (#178.9 million) and will bring a capital gain of L300 billion for Olivetti's 1996 consolidated accounts.
At the same time, Olivetti also sold options rights in Omnitel Pronto Italia for L50 billion.
The company hopes to raise L800 billion by the end of the year in an attempt to reduce its L2.4 trillion debts.
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