Apple ready to go on buying binge?  Apple may be moving into acquisition mode

“Historically, Steve Jobs has not been the acquisitive type. Since he returned to Apple as chief executive in 1997, the company has bought only 11 small companies, far fewer than Silicon Valley counterparts such as Cisco Systems or Hewlett-Packard,” Peter Burrows reports for BusinessWeek. “Google has bought 11 companies in just the past 18 months.”

Burrows reports, “Last year, Apple quietly hired a Goldman Sachs investment banker, Adrian Perica, to help the company cut deals. Multiple sources close to Apple say they believe Perica is the first dedicated M&A specialist on staff. The company has also stepped up its pace of acquisitions: Three of Jobs’ 11 deals have come in the past five months, including the $275 million purchase of Quattro Wireless, the largest buy since Jobs’ return.”

MacDailyNews Note: Actually, according to reports, PA Semi cost Apple $3 million more at $278 million.

Burrows continues, “Apple lost out on a deal last year, in part because of its improvisational approach. As the company was negotiating with the mobile advertising firm AdMob last fall, Google swooped in and quickly bought the company for $750 million.”

“Perica helped make sure Apple didn’t make the same mistake with its next deal, say four sources familiar with the situation. Late last year, Apple entered the bidding for the online music site Lala.com, after Google and several other potential acquirers had gotten involved. The company moved unusually quickly, closing the deal in a few weeks, rather than the more typical two to three months,” Burrows reports. “It was clear that Apple didn’t want to lose out again, and especially not to Google.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

33 Comments

  1. I think Apple should buy out Dell and then lease OS X and get serious in the market. If they bought dell they could get into the PC market and server market.

    Another good buy would be Adobe or Sony too.

  2. Apple and Google still friends. Google is the second front for Apple to attack microsoft (And Steve Ballmer is Apple’s secret agent to work in the inside).
    Why else did Google came out with a phone just good enough to take micrsoft out of the market but not enough to compete with the iPhone? And apple is going to reduce Yahoo’s market share to return the favor to Google.. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. A tie up with Redbox or TIVO would be a blockbuster. BTW the acq. doesn’t have to use cash, could be some or all stock as well. But with the pile of cash on Apples balance sheet, it’s much easier closing cash deals in a hurry than stock / cash deals.

    There might be some interesting morsels being carved out of Motorola as well.

  4. @cashxx

    In one post you named 3 of the 4 worst companies in tech. When making acquisitions, the trick is to find diamonds in rough, companies that are going up, not bloated companies that are doing their best impression of the Titanic.

  5. I am glad somebody pointed out the original iPhone is the comparison, not the current. The iPhone is established, so comparing a new item against it’s established competition and saying “when the most current version of this established product went on sale, it sold XX, while this brand new thing nobody has ever heard of sold YY”.

    I don’t know why MDN keeps choosing to use the 3GS sales instead of the 1G sales.

    I understand people compare Safari to IE, but in all fairness IE has been around for 20+ years. iPhone is only 3-4 years old, so it’s still an infant (the whole category is still at toddler).

    The fact that 1G iPhone sold 500K units compared to 20K by Nexus One is much more telling to me, than the fact that iPhone 3GS sold millions.

  6. Adobe? Dell? Give me a break. Apple is not about to buy those frigtards. Any time you make a large acquisition, you are taking on a huge number of employees and their (often dysfunctional) corporate culture. The result: the culture of the acquired company often passive/aggressively dilutes all that you try to do to build a great corporate culture.

    If you want to know what can happen from a large merger, ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present AOL Time-Warner.

    Instead, where it makes sense, Apple will from time to time make small acquisitions of companies whose technologies or key personnel can help Apple accelerate, be more competitive or to enter new markets. Fingerworks and PA Semi are two good examples. The acquisitions are small enough that they barely cause a ripple on Wall $treet, but in time, have often returned a tremendous ROI.

    What Wall $treet wants to see are the big mergers and acquisitions like your wet dream Adobe. They’re typically train wrecks, often destroying once promising companies (AOL being a prime example). Wall $treet could not care less. All that matters to those whores are the fees and commissions they could rake in from being the broker and underwriter to such M&A;activity. The media love big M&A;because they are so clueless that it helps them think up juicy new garbage articles to slap on the cover of Fortune magazine. Then, you get a complete hack journalist like Fortune’s Andy Serwer to write clueless articles about the synergies that will result from the latest megamerger. This is the same twit who lionized the executives from Enron about six months before the company totally imploded.

    So, don’t get me started. I think big M&A;deals are about as useful and long-lasting as most Hollywood celebrity marriages. Typically, big mergers are the sign of a corporation with no new ideas. Apple is the exceptional company that it is by creating not just new products, but new industry categories. It’s called organic growth. All this BS about mergers is just to dress up accounting spreadsheets. But typically, the only savings that result is by the wonderful word “synergies”, a slick term that means they will shitcan about 5,000 unlucky souls to cut the bottom line.

    And you wonder why we’re in the mess that we’re in economically? The only people that win in a big M&A;deal is Wall $treet.

    Adobe my ass.

  7. Speaking of buyouts, look at Palm stock this morning. All the techs are down but it’s up 4.5%. Methinks someone knows something… like a buyout offer is forthcoming.

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