Engadget breaks down Palm’s buyout by HP as detailed in its SEC statement on the matter with some very interesting little tidbits. It breaks down like this:
- In February, Palm realized it needed outside help. Options included a buyout or selloff of assets (patents) or licensing of WebOS
- 16 companies were targeted and contacted about a buyout or other options. In March, Palm decided that a full buyout was the best option
- HP and two others wanted to buy the company. Two more made offers to buy patents/license WebOS.
- It eventually came down to HP and ‘Company C’ who “told Palm it wasn’t raising its acquisition offer [which was only 20 cents/share below HP], but offered to buy patents and take a nonexclusive license to webOS for $800 million.”
- HP and Palm completed the deal from April 24-28th when it was announced.
Company C sounds a lot like HTC to me. Remember that the HP deal was announced on the 28th but was probably finalized earlier.
Don’t forget HTC sold its soul to the devil made a patent sharing deal with Microsoft on April 27. That sounds like Plan B. Buying Palm was probably Plan A in its patent battle against Apple but it probably became too expensive.
Other payers involved could have been Dell, Motorola, Lenovo, Nokia and a few others, including Apple.