Small, European, And Attractive: High Tech Startups

Investors are making a beeline for these--small caps

Picogiga, a French semiconductor maker with $11 million in annual revenues, has the kind of hot-growth profile that makes investment bankers weak in the knees. Picogiga is the global market leader in gallium arsenide wafers used to make chips for cellular phones and digital TVs. Its sales are rising by 40% a year, and profits are expected to be up 20% in 1996. But Linh T. Nuyen, a Vietnamese emigre and Picogiga's chief executive, long had little hope of taking his 11-year-old company public. Picogiga was simply too risky and obscure to merit an initial public offering.

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