Re: Odd thought
In short, ICL was bought by Fujitsu, after a decade or so they decided it could not be sold as a going concern and brought it in house, thereafter shedding a lot of staff.
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Computers_Limited#Fujitsu
ICL's relationship with Fujitsu started in 1981, when ICL needed a cheaper source of technology to develop lower-end machines in the 2900 range to compete with the IBM 4300 series. At this stage ICL was developing its own LSI technology for use in the higher-end machines, designed as a successor to the highly successful 2966 processor (known internally as S3). ICL had visited a number of companies during 1980 including Fujitsu and Hitachi to identify potential suppliers.
In early 1981 ICL ran into a financial crisis, leading to a full takeover bid from Univac; but the British Government stepped in with a loan guarantee, enabling the company to stay independent. As part of this rescue agreement, Robb Wilmot arrived as CEO in May 1981.
Wilmot cancelled ICL in-house LSI technology development, and negotiated an agreement that gave access to Fujitsu's LSI and packaging technologies, which, when combined with ICL's in-house CAD capability, enabled ICL to design and manufacture the DM1 and Estriel machines, later marketed very profitably as Series 39 level 30 and 80.
Initially the collaboration with Fujitsu was presented as being an arm's length one, to avoid diluting ICL's credentials as a European and British company. However, Fujitsu's involvement with ICL at both the financial and the technical level steadily increased over the subsequent two decades, leading first to 100% ownership and subsequently to the full integration of ICL into the Fujitsu company and the dropping of the ICL brand.
In 1990 Fujitsu acquired 80% of ICL plc from the parent STC plc, paying USD 1.29 billion. In 1998 Fujitsu became ICL's sole shareholder.