Palm Puts Out For Sale Sign

Palm has apparently begun shopping around in ernest to find a buyer, according to Bloomberg. People familiar with the plans said the company is working with Goldmans Sachs Groun and Qatalyst Partners to help find a buyer, but it doesn’t appear that any deals have been solidified yet.

Palm is known for helping kick start the PDA industry with its Palm Pilot electronic organizer, its Treo smartphones, and most recently for its webOS and Pre smartphone. The Pre and the followup phone, the Pixi, however, haven’t been selling as well as the company had hoped.

The company will likely spend about US$80 million every three months over the next five quarters to compete with other smartphone makers such as Apple and Google, and its stock has taken investors on something of a roller coaster ride over the past few weeks. Despite that volatility, Palm may still be seen as an attractive buy.

“Palm still has quite a good brand in the U.S. market, and some strong technology, so you can do something with it,” commented BOC International Holdings technology analyst Frank He. “The shares have gone down a lot and the company may become attractive to anyone looking for a turnaround play.”

Some of the companies said to be eyeing Palm include mobile phone maker HTC and computer maker Lenovo. Dell apparently briefly considered purchasing Palm but decided against the move.

Palm isn’t commenting on the reports that it is looking for a buyer, but if the insider information is correct, the company will likely announce a deal soon.