Snubbed by an unenamoured partner and doubting publishing professionals, Quark finally stopped courting its rival Adobe on Monday.
Just four weeks after Quark, the makers of pre-press leader Quark Xpress, attempted to acquire Adobe for more than its current stock value, the spurned suitor was forced to pull out, citing a complete lack of interest from Adobe (see Newswire 27 August).
"Since last week we have tried to open dialogue with Adobe, but to no avail - they have not returned our phone calls," said Quark chief executive Fred Ebrahimi.
"We wanted to engage in friendly discussions regarding the specifics of our proposal but Adobe is not even willing to do that," he said. A hostile takeover is now unlikely as it would harm all parties involved, according to Ebrahimi.
Lst week at the Seybold publishing seminar in San Francisco, a straw poll of publishing professionals revealed virtually no support for the takeover. Quark, a private company that is widely believed to be only one-fifth the size of its prey, would have had a stranglehold on the pre-press market had the deal gone ahead.
But right from the start, Adobe was an unwilling partner. It did not want its flagship Pagemaker publishing software to be sold off as a result of the acquisition and, with a poison pill mechanism in place, fended off a hostile bid.
The attempted takeover coincided with a low stock price as Adobe tries to pull through a financially difficult spell. The company has threatened to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce and has suffered sales down to around $220 million, from $230 million last year.
The company inists a homegrown recovery package, not a takeover, is the answer to its woes. However, some observers believe the merger makes sense in a market that is saturated and will have to eventually consolidate.
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