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Poorly rated paper has put the kybosh on IAT Multimedia's agreed takeover of US distributor Atec. Swiss tiddler IAT said it "terminated" the $77 million-stock acquisition following accountants' advice on both sides that the transaction would dilute future earnings. So much for IAT's wildly ambitious expansion plans. IAT, which sells computers in Germany under the Trinology brand and is a manufacturer of "visual communication devices", had wanted to spearhead US expansion through Hauppauge, New York-based ATEC's distribution and sales structure. IAT said the companies are now in talks to form another "strategic relationship". An obvious way around the embarrassing failure for the deal to complete is for ATEC to buy IAT. But it is difficult to see what ATEC would gain. According to Bloombergs, IAT had sales of just $5.88 million last year, while Atec reported revenue of $114.5 million for the nine months ended March 31. IAT would have been unable to absorb the write-off against earnings, analysts say. Whatever, ATEC has a big, fat for sale price over its head. ®

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