Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has confirmed his personal interest in acquiring Apple, saying he will make a decision in the next fortnight.
Ellison, who is a close friend of Apple co-founder and consultant Steve Jobs, said that if he went ahead with what he dubbed his "trial balloon" he would fire current Apple chairman Gil Amelio.
Newspaper reports also quoted Ellison as saying that he and Jobs would be members of a new board, but that Jobs would not be involved in the potential deal. Ellison said the deal would include himself and an unnamed investor and would not involve Oracle.
In an attempt to gather wider feedback on his proposition, Ellison set up an electronic mailbox ([email protected] oracle.com) asking users to offer their opinions. Preliminary feedback suggests they are in favour of the plan.
Amelio dismissed Ellison's comments as "nonsense", saying he felt a change in Apple leadership and ownership would be a mistake with the current wide reorganisation taking place.
Tim Bajarin, president of US-based Creative Strategies, said he thought the takeover bid was an interesting idea. However, he added: "Trial balloons are often filled with hot air."
Apple was unable to comment as it is in a "quiet period" in the run-up to the publication of its second quarter results later this month.
Meanwhile, Apple found interest from a most unlikely quarter last week.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a Saudi investor, had bought a 5% holding in Apple for $115 million (#71 million).
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