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Book Discloses Wang-ITT Merger Talks

October 16, 1987

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) _ Wang Laboratories Inc. held secret merger discussions with ITT Corp. two years ago, but nothing came of the talks, according to a book due out next year.

Wang spokesman Paul Henning confirmed Thursday that the company’s founder, An Wang, held the discussions with ITT Chairman Rand V. Araskog in 1985. He said the talks took place when ITT was under siege by corporate raiders.

″This discussion was general in nature and cordial, but resulted in no substantive agreements,″ Henning told The Boston Globe.

Wang makes minicomputers and office-automation systems. ITT is a diversified company with interests in financial services, manufacturing, hotels and forest products.

Details of the talks will be disclosed in a book written by Araskog, to be published by Henry Holt Inc. of New York. The Globe said Araskog also discloses similar talks with other companies.

A publishing industry source, the Globe reported, said Araskog wrote that the talks with Wang broke off because Wang insisted on maintaining control of the combined companies.

Holt editor-in-chief, Jack MacRae, declined to comment on the book. However, Araskog’s literary agent, Michael Cohn, confirmed that references to the Wang discussions appeared in the manuscript.

A published report said the book is to be titled, ″Tumultuous Years: A Personal Account of the Rebuilding of ITT.″

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