Ellison, Jobs discuss buyout of Apple

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Tue, 13 Feb 96 11:32:00 -0500

By Dan Farber


Though Apple Computer Inc. says it's not in play, the takeover talk
surrounding the beleaguered company continues.

In fact, as recently as last week, Oracle Corp.'s CEO Larry Ellison met with
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to mull over a possible takeover.

"We are good friends, and I would be supporting him in buying back his old
company," Ellison said during a question-and-answer session at the Upside
Technology Summit, in Carefree, Ariz.

"Apple is kind of like Beta [vs. VHS]," Ellison said. "The better technology
lost to lousy technology."

During the last year, Ellison had been rumored to be interested in buying all
or parts of Apple. Last fall, sources said Oracle was negotiating to buy
Apple's personal digital assistant business. But those talks were inconclusive
and ultimately lapsed.

The two Silicon Valley billionaires apparently did not move beyond the
initial discussion stage.

Separately, Apple today said that it will not issue a dividend for the first
quarter of 1996 and will not issue dividends in "the near future given the
financial condition of the company."

In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple also
disclosed that gross margins are likely to dip again in its second quarter.

Last week Apple warned that it expects to sustain a fiscal second-quarter
operating loss that will "significantly exceed" the $69 million it lost during
the company's first quarter.

In midmorning trading, Apple's stock was 28.125, down 0.25 points.