We’ve managed to locate some more information on the possible buyout. Apparently, unlike we suggested in our first report earlier this morning, the buyout is not driven by Jobs, but exclusively by Oracle’s Ellison. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury, Ellison is driving the deal himself. Ellison states that the proposal is merely a “trial balloon” at this point and he’ll make a decision next few weeks.
At the end of last year, stories abounded in the online press that Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, was ready to help friend and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs buy the floundering company. That Ellison confirmed the rumour and that his company, Oracle, is the largest database company in the world and the second largest software company did nothing but add steam to the rumours. But, Ellison always professed the buyout would only happen when Jobs gave the green light and after weeks of rumours Jobs told the press that he had no interest in an Apple takeover and had taken Ellison to task over his public offer to help buy Apple. With Jobs proclaiming his lack of interest in buying Apple –backed up by the on-going success of his company Pixar, the animation powerhouse behind Disney’s Toy Story– the rumours disappeared from the online world. The rumours of the rumour’s demise may have been greatly exagerated. The Reuter news service has reported that a group of investors led by Ellison plan a billion dollar buyout of Apple, with a board seat already set aside for Jobs. Apple was Steve Jobs first company, revolutionizing the computer industry twice while Jobs was still in his twenties. Steve Jobs has always expressed disappointment at the opportunities he felt Apple has missed after his departure. Given the success his second computer venture, NeXT, both in creating an operating system that has a large share of the mission critical operating system market and in web products –both areas the post-Jobs Apple has failed in– he may be right. In the next few days we may find that the opportunity to again control the destiny of the world’s third largest operating system –after microsoft Windows ’95 and Windows 3.11, but ahead of Windows NT– was irresistable for a man who’s will and some would say ego rival that of Bill Gates.