“Everybody wants a piece of the Apple magic. Investors have clamored for the stock, which has doubled in less than a year. Entrepreneurs have hopped aboard the iPod gravy train by building add-ons whose sales mushroom as the popular music player prospers. Now even Apple alumni who have nothing whatsoever to do with the company’s current success want in on the action,” Adam Lashinsky reports for Fortune. “Watch this week or next for shares of a new company called Acquicor Technology to begin trading on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker ACQU. Its founders are Gil Amelio, briefly Apple’s CEO in the mid-1990s; Ellen Hancock, his Apple lieutenant and later CEO of Exodus Communications, which entered bankruptcy in 2001; and Steve Wozniak, Apple’s loveable co-founder who hasn’t worked there in a couple decades.”
“You’ve definitely heard of Apple. Perhaps the names Amelio, Hancock and Wozniak ring a bell. But never heard of Acquicor? Don’t feel bad. It barely exists,” Lashinsky reports. “Acquicor is an example of a new kind of gift from investment bankers to eager public shareholders called a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company. Its less formal name is a ‘blank check’ company, a totally appropriate moniker because if you buy its shares you’re giving a blank check to its founders.”
“In this case, those luminaries will be attempting to sprinkle a little Apple pixie dust in the public markets. Amelio and team have been criss-crossing the country on a strange mission. They’re asking institutional investors to give them $100 million so they can make an acquisition they can’t yet identify,” Lashinsky reports. “According to the bizarre rules under which SPACs are created, the team can’t talk to buyout candidates until they’ve raised their cash. If all goes according to plan, however, Acquicor will complete its offering this week and its shares will trade publicly. Then it’s got two years to spend most of the money or be forced to give it back.”
More details in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Rainy Day” for the link.]
A bit of history: Amelio became Apple CEO on February 2, 1996, succeeding Michael Spindler. Under Amelio’s guidance, Apple’s stock hit a 12-year low, and in the second quarter of 1997, the company lost $708 million. The smartest thing Amelio ever did (with the urging of Hancock) was to buy Steve Jobs’ NeXT for $402 million, bringing Steve Jobs back to Apple. On July 9, 1997, Gil Amelio was ousted as CEO of Apple by the board of directors and Jobs stepped in as the interim CEO. Thus began the greatest second act in the history of business. “Within days of the NeXT acquisition, Jobs began lobbying for the demotion of… chief technologist Ellen Hancock, whom he repeatedly referred to as a ‘bozo,’ say Apple managers,” Peter Burrows reported for BusinessWeek on March 17, 1997. Hancock tendered her resignation alongside Amelio. Woz is Woz.
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