Nynex Corp. said Thursday it will sell a major part of AGS Computers Inc., its financial services technology unit, as part of continuing refocus on its core communications businesses.

Keane Inc., a Boston consulting firm, is the buyer. The division being sold, AGS Information Services, does consulting, systems integration, and contract programming in a variety of industries, including banking. Terms of the deal, which now goes before the boards of both companies, were not disclosed.

The division, which generated an estimated $160 million of revenue in 1992, has not performed as well as Nynex expected when it purchased it in 1988 for an estimated $70 million, according to industry observers.

Nynex still owns a handful of software companies that sell to banks, but sources close to the communications giant say the company is looking for buyers.

The sale of AGS is an acknowledgement that Nynex sees its future elsewhere than in the provision of software and other information services to banks.

Nynex, which had $1.31 billion net income in 1992, recently staked $1.2 billion to media conglomerate Viacom for its friendly takeover of Paramount Communications Inc. If Viacom wins, Nynex expects to generate huge income from providing cable television and other information services to the home.

AGS Information Services was the largest division within AGS Computers, employing about 2,000 people. Also part of AGS Computers are five software companies that together employ about 850 people.

Among the companies that Nynex is still reportedly seeking a buyer for are: Disc Inc., a developer of cash management systems; Stockholder Systems Inc., which specializes in funds transfer software; and Vista Concepts, which sells software for securities processing.

A Nynex spokesman said, "We ar e not commenting on the fate of individual companies within the group."

Early this month Nynex agreed to sell another software company under AGS Computers, called Systems Strategies Inc. -- which sells communications software to link Unix and International Business Machines Corp. computers -- to Apertus Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn.

Nynex said it would take an after-tax fourth quarter charge of $250 million to $175 million to account for the discontinuance of its information products and services businesses.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.