Press reports say Olivetti is close to signing a deal to sell its IT services subsidiary, Olsy, to Wang.
Rumours about such a deal have surfaced repeatedly in the past few months. The 'Financial Times' reported that Wang would acquire Olsy in a cash and share transaction, making Olivetti the largest shareholder in Wang with a stake of about 19 per cent.
Olivetti is not commenting on the rumours. The company admitted a month ago that it is searching for "an international partner" for Olsy. An Olivetti spokesperson repeated this statement, though he added: "We have not stated what kind of partnership we are seeking. We have not ruled anything out."
Reports also said that Olivetti is seeking yet another "international partner" for Lexikon, its office equipment subsidiary, and is negotiating with Xerox about a technological partnership and possible share swap.
Olsy is Olivetti's largest subsidiary, and accounts for about 60 per cent of turnover. In May, Olivetti predicted that the subsidiary would break even for 1997, though the company won't say whether it still believes this is possible.
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