|[9:00 AM] April Fool's Story: AOL To Buy Apple
[Editor's Note: We ran the following story on Saturday, April 1st for an April Fool's joke. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with comments. :-)]
AOL has announced their next acquisition, and we are sad to report that it is Apple. The company announced that they would be purchasing Apple, with the transaction to take place on April 1st. The company has offered 700 million shares of AOL stock and US$2.425 Billion in cash. This represents a 21.5% premium over Apple's closing price of 135 13/16 on Friday considering AOL's closing price of 67 14.
According to AOL:
AOL has announced an agreement to purchase all outstanding shares of Apple pending shareholder agreement. AOL will purchase all assets of the company including some US$3 Billion in debt. The acquisition will give AOL access to iTools and other yet to be announced online tools and resources. "iTools offers a significant increase in our online arsenal," said Steve Case, Chairman of AOL. " Once we port those tools to Windows, we will be offering resources undreamed of in Redmond. The user experience of our AOL subscribers will be second to none."
The company will also be retaining the services of key personnel from the Apple team. Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, Jr., Ph.D. Senior Vice President, Software Engineering for Apple will take the title of Chief Technology Officer, recently vacated by Mark Andreeson, and Ed Bukowski will remain on board as Chief Sanitation Engineer. Steve Jobs will become a part time advisor to the newly merged companies, acting in the role of "Advisor For Strategic Development."
"We are delighted to have the chance to work with all this new technology," says Mr. Case. "After our successful merger with Netscape, we are confident that we can maximize the profits from opportunities left unfilled by Apple. As we did with Netscape, we plan to squash all tangible assets, such as the Mac OS and those horrid, overpriced, plastic computers, and focus on the core of this deal - iTools. However, we expect that the fanatical following of the Mac should fetch a handsome price on the open market. Who knows, perhaps someone like Ross Perot or Joel Kocher will want to buy our newly acquired customer lists!"
"I am happy to finally be done with this," says Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple. "You Mac guys have really worn me out." Mr. Jobs will be retaining his Gulfstream V, recently given to him by Apple's Board of Directors. "The G-V had a lot to do with this. I realized that I could go anywhere I wanted at any time, and thought Work 60 hours a week? Or travel to Europe, a lot?' You can guess which one won. I really like the sausages in southern Germany."
The buyout is subject to regulatory hurdles, FTC approval, shareholder approval from both AOL and Apple, and Ed Bukowski's new bride, Phyllis, per some strange clause in their prenuptial agreement.
You can find more information at the companies' Web site. Both Apple and AOL declined to comment for this story.
The Mac Observer Spin: Of all the things that could happen to Apple, being bought by AOL is one of the two worst things imaginable. AOL ruined Netscape and all that came with it because they wanted to purchase the hits from NetCenter, Netscape's Web Portal. The company's press release makes it clear that all they want from Apple is iTools, and there is little doubt they will abuse the Mac and Mac OS as much as they have with the ill-fated Navigator.
For those keeping score, Steve Jobs will personally net almost a billion dollars on this deal, assuming he exercises all 10 million of his Apple stock options. That's quite a haul -- hopefully it will all fit in his Jet.
Apple - AOL