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Palm SEC Filing Reveals Five Company Bidding War

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Thought lacklustre hardware updates, over-production and crippling debts combined with a desperate (though unofficial) for sale sign hung around its neck would mean Palm wasn't particularly hot property? Turns out you'd be wrong...

Having released its SEC filing Palm has revealed that no less than five companies were engaged in an all out bidding war for the business right up to the point a $1.2bn sale to HP was concluded late last month.
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Sadly the filing doesn't name the firms involved (we have to do with 'Company A', 'Company B', etc), but it does confirm one didn't sign a non disclosure agreement so - in theory - it could go public at any time. What we do learn, however, is very interesting with a few of the best nuggets being:

  • HP and 'Company C' were only 20 cents per share apart in their negotiations
  • Palm approached a total of 16 companies about doing a deal
  • Bids were made solely to buy Palm's webOS licensing
  • HP's first offer was just $4.75 per share ($1bn), it reached agreement at $5.70 per share
  • Company C had offered up to $7 per share, but eventually dropped this to $5.50 per share
  • There were just 16 days between HP's first bid and the $1.2bn deal being concluded
Oh to be a fly on the wall during those negotiations! Still with the HP Slate having bitten the dust and already talk of a webOS powered replacement it appears the breakneck relationship between it and Palm isn't likely to die down anytime soon...

In related news Palm returned to its more accustomed role of things going wrong when over the weekend its webOS App Catalog hit a glitch and stopped both paid and free apps from being downloaded. The issue is now fixed and Palm has issued the following statement:

The Palm App Catalog is now fully operational. If you experience any difficulties downloading or reinstalling apps, try the suggestions on the Palm support forums.

Not the most inspiring of messages, but until HP starts releasing its first webOS devices there are probably only four or five people who actually care.

Links:
Palm SEC Filing
Palm Blog Post

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