Apple Creates Braeburn Capital to Manage $8.7 Billion Stash

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Apple has set up Braeburn Capital, a Nevada-based corporation that will manage the companyis US$8.7 billion hoard of cash and short-term investments and take advantage of the stateis loose tax laws. BusinessWeekis Arik Hesseldahl noted that Appleis cash position is up 91% from the $4.6 billion it had at the end of 2003; the company is also debt-free.

Mr. Hesseldahl said that an Apple spokesman told him "Braeburn will function as a regional treasury office, on par with existing offices in Cupertino, Singapore, and Cork, Ireland. He declined to comment on the tax implications or elaborate on Braeburnis investment plans."

Apple is also looking for senior and junior financial officers who would report to CFO Peter Oppenheimer and who "would be given the assignment of finding external money managers specializing in fixed-income and money market investments with maturities ranging from one to five years." Mr. Hesseldahl spoke with a Las Vegas-based corporate attorney who said that the state has no corporate income or capital gains taxes, and it doesnit share information with the IRS, all factors that have led some companies to either move their entire operations to Nevada or at least set up shop there for cash management purposes.

The columnist noted that Apple last paid a dividend on its stock in 1995 and last authorized a share repurchase in 1999. Both are options for using its cash hoard, although Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf said: "If anything, I could see Apple pulling the trigger on buybacks, but not paying a divided. Dividends just arenit the Silicon Valley way. And if they did an acquisition, I think theyid rather do it with cash than with stock."

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