@Calmarius is correct, this happens if you consider a 32bit exe, without even basic 32bit libraries.
I'm attempting to upgrade my system (a fresh install of Ubuntu 16.04, from 12.04), I have to install an old propitiatory 32bit service,
avserver, that requires
ia32-libs (no-longer available). This means both
apt-get are unhappy (whatever I do, it prompts me to
apt-get -f install, and if I run that, it insists I uninstall the service package), and my service won't start.
To prove that this is down to missing 32bit libraries, I have mounted my old system (Ubuntu 12.04, with
ia32-libs and 32bit libraries) on
/opt (containing my 32bit binary) is mounted in
/sda2/opt, I can
chroot /sda2 and
ldd then runs as intended.
To fix this, I could have manually installed all the dependent library packages with :i386 (arch). However I decided rather than try to figure out what my dependencies were, I installed wine (which is mostly 32bit, and so installs the basic libraries and a load more that I don't really need, but I'm ok with that).
apt-get, I edited
/var/lib/dpkg/status, finding the package for my service, and removed
apt-get are happy
ldd happily reports:-
root@withnail:/opt/<service path># ldd avserver
linux-gate.so.1 => (0xf77a6000)
libdl.so.2 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libdl.so.2 (0xf778f000)
libpthread.so.0 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libpthread.so.0 (0xf7772000)
libuuid.so.1 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libuuid.so.1 (0xf776b000)
libresolv.so.2 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libresolv.so.2 (0xf7752000)
libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libcrypt.so.1 (0xf7720000)
libktssl.so.1.0.0 => /opt/<service path>/libktssl.so.1.0.0 (0xf76cb000)
libktcrypto.so.1.0.0 => /opt/<service path>/libktcrypto.so.1.0.0 (0xf756b000)
libktz.so.1 => /opt/<service path>/libktz.so.1 (0xf7558000)
librt.so.1 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/librt.so.1 (0xf754f000)
libstdc++.so.6 => /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6 (0xf73d8000)
libm.so.6 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libm.so.6 (0xf7383000)
libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libgcc_s.so.1 (0xf7366000)
libc.so.6 => /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libc.so.6 (0xf71af000)