There is life after apparent corporate death, as Hermann Hauser, the Austrian-born boffin at Acorn Computers, will testify. A decade ago, Hauser was being feted by the City as one of the young lions leading the Cambridge computer revolution (Hauser obtained his PhD from the university) in the so-called Silicon fen. Acorn's shares were snapped up and Hauser was worth well over £100 million on paper. Then the usual tale of profits collapsing and City disenchantment ensued. Acorn could have followed many other hi-tech groups to the corporate knacker's yard. But Olivetti, the Italian computer group, came to the rescue and, after a long bout in intensive care, Acorn is now flourishing. In the last few months, its stock market value has risen by a third.
Hauser, still a director of the company, is also seeing his fortune return. His 4% stake is now worth over £4 million. One man who won't be benefiting from the Acorn revival is Chris Curry, Hauser's former partner. Curry recently had his country house repossessed.