Olivetti could be about to sell its services subsidiary Olsys, with the most likely buyer Wang Laboratories, according to press reports on Monday.
Olivetti has been seeking partners or buyers for some of its subsidiaries for some time - the credibility of Wang as a buyer being its ambition to expand its European operations.
A source at the company said an actual sale was "unlikely, but not impossible."
However, a spokesperson denied the report emphatically and said the Olivetti group was seeking a partner for its services business, which could include financial or strategic terms, but not a sale of the business.
Olsy was listed as the top European distributed IT service vendor in terms of revenue by Dataquest in a July report, with revenue of $908 million, ahead of EDS in second place with $714.5 million and Hewlett-Packard in third with 695.5 million. European market share was calculated at nearly six per cent.
Its revenue is broken down between Italy with 39 per cent, the rest of Europe with 41 per cent and the rest of the world - principally Australia - with 20 per cent. It contributes 60 per cent of the Olivetti Group's turnover as a whole since the sell-off of the PC business.
In July, Barclays awarded the company a #50 million three-year renewal of its contract for hardware maintenance and installation at its head office and bank branches across the UK.
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