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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Revived Wang Buys Into Bull

LOWELL, Massachusetts -- Wang Laboratories Inc., the re-energized former computer maker that came out of bankruptcy a year ago, is buying the service and systems integration business of French computer maker Cie Des Machines Bull for $160 million.


Under the agreement, Lowell-based Wang will pay Bull $110 million in cash, $25 million in Wang stock and $25 million in short-term notes.


The deal, announced Tuesday, calls for Bull to fold its U.S. field maintenance services business into Wang's and to turn over its subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico to the American company.


Wang said it would become one of the world's largest multi-vendor maintenance service companies as a result of the deal.


"Wang and Groupe Bull are building a long-term strategic partnership which I believe firmly will foster both companies' business strategies and will most importantly give better service to our respective customer bases and again help the long-term profitability and financial viability of both companies," Wang chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Tucci told reporters.


The deal will make Bull a long-term Wang stockholder, with a 4.9 percent stake. Axel Leblois, chairman and chief executive officer of the U.S. unit Bull NH Information Systems Inc., will sit on Wang's board and Wang's Strategy and Technology Committee.


Wang fought its way back from bankruptcy by ridding itself of $500 million in debt, selling office space and shedding more than 3,000 workers.


"One year ago today, we were in this very hotel announcing to you all that we had just had our plan of reorganization successfully confirmed," Tucci said.


The Bull businesses that will be transferred to Wang are expected to generate revenues of $450 million in 1994, of which $320 million are in the United States, Wang said.


Tucci said the new businesses are profitable and will will result in higher earnings per share and cash flow in the first quarter of fiscal 1996 beginning July 1, 1995.


The agreement will offer new growth opportunities for both companies through reciprocal distribution arrangements in computer servers, UNIX systems, personal computers and workflow/imaging products, it said.


It will also help the French company to reinforce its presence in the United States.


Wang said the agreement is in line with its previously announced plans to reposition itself as a provider of imaging software, which allows documents to be filed into a computer, retrieved and edited.