Lotus issued a statement that ``The sudden IBM announcement is particularly surprising in light of discussions and negotiations on contracts and joint development that have been under discussion between the two companies for several months. We will now study the matter with our legal and financial advisers and others, and then take any and all appropriate action to preserve and promote the vital best interests of this company.''
Lotus has periodically been viewed as a takeover candidate, with AT&T Corp., a Lotus partner in several areas, seen as a possible bidder. Lotus is handled by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, handles IBM.
The proposed deal is the latest sign of industry consolidation. Computer Associates, a big business software marketer, late last month agreed to buy rival Legent Corp. for $2.1 billion. And Novell is believed to be discussing the acquisition of ailing Borland International.
Kmart Corp., Troy, Mich., named former Target Stores CEO Floyd Hall, 56, as chairman-president-CEO of the troubled retailer, effective immediately. Donald Perkins has relinquished his role as chairman but remains a member of the company's board. Mr. Hall replaces Joseph Antonini, who resigned in March. Mr. Hall most recently worked as the president-CEO of the Museum Co., an international, privately held retail chain that specializes in selling museum reproductions. Mr. Hall has also held CEO positions at B. Dalton Bookseller and Grand Union.
"Having been a retailer my entire career and a competitor of Kmart in the past, I am excited about the opportunity to lead one of the world's largest and best known retail companies," said Mr. Hall. "Kmart faces many challenges ahead, but it also has many strengths, including a terrific group of executives and associates. I am committed to working closely with them to enhance the value of the company for our shareholders and customers."