The future of Apple was left hanging in the balance last week as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison abruptly ended his planned hostile bid for the Macintosh manufacturer after having a change of heart.
Ending five weeks of speculation, Ellison issued a statement after the close of the US stock exchange on 29 April, saying that he had decided not to seek control of Apple or pursue any transaction involving Apple ?at least for the time being?. The statement added: ?[Ellison] has not purchased any Apple stock and is not currently engaged in any discussions with Apple or Apple shareholders or potential investors concerning any transaction involving Apple.?
This is the third abortive coup Ellison has attempted to stage at Apple in recent years, While Ellison has been forthcoming about promoting the idea of the takeover, he remained tight-lipped about his reasons for dropping the move. But there was speculation that there had been pressure from the US Securities & Exchange Commission to end the growing uncertainty.
His plans had attracted criticism from many Macintosh customers, who were incensed by his idea of network computers bearing the Apple brand.
Ellison?s plan may have been defeated by the level of interest his pronouncements generated in Apple stock. He has stated that he would only pay $16.75 a share ? the price on 26 March when he first declared his intentions ? but since then the price has gone up. There was also speculation that directors at Oracle were concerned about the amount of time Ellison was spending on the takeover.
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