Olivetti is believed to be in the throes of selling off computer and services subsidiary Olsy to Wang Laboratories as part of its recovery plan.
In May, Olivetti revealed that it was in talks with interested parties as it looked for a partner for its Olsy subsidiary.
At the time, Olivetti said it regarded its computer business as part of its core business and did not intend to sell control of the entire operation (PC Dealer, 22 May).
Recently, the company regrouped its systems and services operation into one subsidiary, Olsy, following the sale of Olivetti PC to a group of investors, Piedmont International. The company began trading as Olsy on 1 April and generates about 60 per cent of the group?s total worldwide turnover.
Several companies are understood to have expressed an interest in purchasing Olsy.
But Wang ? which has re-emerged as a services specialist since it came out from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1993 ? has been tipped as the hot favourite to pick up the PC manufacturing operation.
Wang is interested in Olsy as it would give the services specialist an opportunity to expand its operation throughout Europe.
Despite problems with its parent company, Olsy UK managed to turn in an operating profit of #7.07 million on turnover of #152.3 million for the year to December 1996.
The deal between Wang and Olivetti would boost shareholders and investors? confidence in Olivetti CEO Robert Colaninno as he attempts to put in place the manufacturer?s recovery plan.
Olivetti shareholders are expected to give the go-ahead at a meeting on 1 September for France Telecom to become the company?s strategic partner in the fixed-line telecommunications sector.
Both Wang and Olivetti refused to comment.
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