Larry Ellison's "trial balloon" landed with a bump last week as the Oracle boss dropped his plan to takeover Apple.
Ellison said in a statement that "for the time being" he would no pursue his purchase of Apple. He added he was not involved in discussions with Apple or any of its shareholders, and that neither had he purchased any of the company's stock.
Last month, Ellison created a stir when he announced he was considering buying Apple and would oust current chief Gil Amelio if a deal went through.
Ellison was thought to be interested in buying Apple to further his NC strategy. However, this latest development in the Apple/Ellison saga has led to widespread industry speculation that his intentions were never serious. One analyst even went as far as to say that Ellison had no serious money behind the deal and that he just wanted to focus attention on himself and his NC plans.
Peter Sondergaard, an analyst at researcher the Gartner Group, said theories behind Ellison's motivations could only be speculation. "Who knows what goes on in the mind of Larry Ellison. He may have been offered an attractive price for Apple due to its stock price (which may not be so good now) but this is pure guesswork," he said.
Apple said it had no comment to make on Ellison's decision.
The fact that Ellison is a close friend of Steve Jobs adds some credence to the rumours that his takeover bid could well have been a ploy to push up Apple's stock price. Other opinions that he used the publicity to centre attention on the NC are also very credible.
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