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MAI Basic Four Nears Decision on Raising Bid for Prime Computer

Will MAI Basic Four Inc. raise its bid for Prime Computer Inc. or won’t it?

An answer to that question could come as early as today. MAI, a Tustin computer maker, is expected to announce soon whether it will continue its hostile takeover bid for the Natick, Mass., minicomputer company.

MAI’s $1.1-billion tender offer for Prime was set to expire at midnight Thursday. But even if it hadn’t, the offer was not expected to attract many takers because it had been topped on June 23 by a friendly bid extended by the New York venture capital firm of J.H. Whitney & Co.

“I think MAI will probably extend the current bid, wait a day or two and then rebid,” said Robert Johnson, an analyst with Rotan Mosle Inc., a Houston investment firm.

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“I think MAI is working through the numbers,” Johnson said. “Now it’s a question of whether they can get the banks (that are financing the bid) to go along with them.”

MAI had announced June 22 that it intended to raise its bid. But an MAI spokesman said Thursday that the company is still evaluating its offer and had no further comment.

Prime has accepted Whitney’s bid to acquire Prime in a cash-and-securities deal valued at $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion.


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