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Tech asset-stripper in line to buy Cray

Technology acquisition company wanted to spend $100m, now wants to spend much less

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The name of the would-be owner of SGI's Cray Research supercomputer business unit has leaked out. According to Reuters, SGI has been talking to one Gores Technology Group for two months or more in the hope of agreeing on terms of sale. Gores appears to be a classic asset stripping venture, albeit with a technology bent. It buys the divisions major IT companies want to sell off, sorts them out and soon after flogs them off to someone else. SGI originally put Cray up for sale back in August during a major restructure initiated by then CEO Rick Belluzzo, now head of Microsoft's online activities. What little is known about the Gores-SGI negotiations has Gores initially offering $100 million for Cray, but later withdrawing that bid and submitting a reduced offering after taking a look at the division's books. SGI can't be too happy with that -- hence the ongoing negotiations. While SGI wants rid of Cray -- it needs the money more than anything else -- having paid $700 million for the operation itself, it doesn't want to feel shortchanged, no matter how desperate it is. ®

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