Small, European, And Attractive: High Tech Startups

High-tech startups and small-cap bourses lure investors

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 the booming cellular-phone and digital- TV markets. Its sales are rising by 40% a year, and profits are expected to be up 20% in 1996. But despite its stellar record, 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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