JUNE 4, 2001
Benetton sponsor Marconi under threat
BENETTON sponsor Marconi is rumored to be the target for a takeover bid by the giant US technology company Cisco Systems. Cisco is looking to expand in Europe and is aiming for the telecommunications equipment business in which Marconi is a big player. There have been suggestions that Cisco might bid for Lucent Technologies instead (a Jordan sponsor) but those talks failed. If it goes ahead the deal would probably be worth something in the region of $17bn. Marconi is currently undergoing a major restructuring, laying off 3000 workers.