March 15, 2006 1:41 PM PST

Ex-Apple execs get a 'blank check'

In a rather unusual stock sale, three former Apple executives have received more than $140 million to set up a new technology venture.

Acquicor Technology, a company launched by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO Gil Amelio and former Apple CTO Ellen Hancock, raised more than $140 million this week. But, in a twist, they will only get to use the proceeds of the stock offering if they can find a company to buy.

In the prospectus for Acquicor, the founders describe the effort as a "blank check company" that was formed to snap up a company somewhere in the tech arena. The company said it is generally looking for opportunities created by the convergence of various Internet Protocol-based technologies.

"We believe IP-based convergence will become a major catalyst for growth opportunities in the technology, multimedia and networking sectors and will lead to the development of new, agile and integrated applications, products and services," Acquicor said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "As a result, many companies will need experienced leadership and growth capital in order to make their businesses responsive to these market trends."

Apple promo

The money Acquicor raised will be held in a trust account with a limited amount of the interest available to the company for its operating expenses. If they don't find a company to buy, or if shareholders don't approve of Acquicor's target, the money will go back to shareholders.

The three ex-Apple execs have given themselves a deadline, too. "We will dissolve and promptly distribute only to our public stockholders the amount in our trust account plus any of our remaining net assets if we do not effect a business combination within 18 months after the consummation of this offering."

All three executives have been involved in other tech ventures after leaving Apple. Wozniak has been involved in wireless technology venture Wheels of Zeus. Hancock was CEO of Web hoster Exodus Communications, until being replaced in September 2001. Amelio has been a venture capitalist, most recently with Sienna Ventures.

See more CNET content tagged:
Ellen Hancock, Gil Amelio, Steve Wozniak, shareholder, exec

4 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Hmmmmm
I think this seems a bit weird. You'd think the three of them would
have a set business in mind before raising that kind of money. It
looks to me that more due diligance is needed before it gets to this
stage. But that's just me.
Posted by macdesign13 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wut??
This is about the most unlikely trio of people with the weirdest
"plan" I could imagine.

Having worked with Gil and Ellen in the past, I can't imagine
them with the likes of Woz. And, giving the shareholders' right
of refusal in the acquisition of a company seems pretty strange,
especially as the acquisition IS the company!

May they go in peace, and not eat each others' offspring (or each
other)... Giant egos with Gil & Ellen!
Posted by VegasBaby (77 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Uhhh... okay... uhm... How 'bout No?
Now ain't this a twist... basically the idea here is that we (the public) are investing in the business know how of this trio (talk about ego) and making the bet that their skills and a butt load of money can make a company successful. This might be an interesting concept but I'd say these are the wrong players to do it. First off, they are not the staff which has made Apple the success it is today. Except for maybe the WOZ... he is a force unto himself but I'd say he's more of a creative force rather than a operations and managment one. As for the other two... Last I checked, Exodus did just that after the .com bubble burst (Chapter 11 then liquidated) and Gil Amelio... the former Apple CEO who managed Apple's stock price to a 12 year low? For me this one is a pass. Maybe they can find a talented company and bring it to the public's attention (as most VCs try to do), but what's with front loading the IPO??? Investors be warned!!! You're investing in nothing and they are hoping to turn nothing into something... "DANGER WILL ROBINS, DANGER!!!" This stinks of the "business plan on a cocktail napkin" practices that were common back in the days of the .bom. Thanks but no thanks!
Posted by Source00 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Uhhh... okay... uhm... How 'bout No?
Now ain't this a twist... basically the idea here is that we (the public) are investing in the business know how of this trio (talk about ego) and making the bet that their skills and a butt load of money can make a company successful. This might be an interesting concept but I'd say these are the wrong players to do it. First off, they are not the staff which has made Apple the success it is today. Except for maybe the WOZ... he is a force unto himself but I'd say he's more of a creative force rather than a operations and managment one. As for the other two... Last I checked, Exodus did just that after the .com bubble burst (Chapter 11 then liquidated) and Gil Amelio... the former Apple CEO who managed Apple's stock price to a 12 year low? For me this one is a pass. Maybe they can find a talented company and bring it to the public's attention (as most VCs try to do), but what's with front loading the IPO??? Investors be warned!!! You're investing in nothing and they are hoping to turn nothing into something... "DANGER WILL ROBINS, DANGER!!!" This stinks of the "business plan on a cocktail napkin" practices that were common back in the days of the .bom. Thanks but no thanks!
Posted by Source00 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.