Smartphone Maker Palm Is Seeking Buyer: Report

Monday, 12 Apr 2010 07:43 AM

 

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Palm Inc., the loss-making smartphone maker, is looking to sell itself and is seeking bids for the company as early as this week, Bloomberg said, citing three people familiar with the situation.

A spokesman for Palm in Europe declined to comment.

Palm, which makes the Pre and Pixi phones and develops WebOS phone software, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer, the agency said.

Frankfurt-listed Palm shares rose 8 percent on Monday, but in a few trades.

Palm's shares had jumped on Friday, capping a volatile week in which the smartphone maker's stock seesawed on takeover rumors and options market chatter.

On Friday, Taiwan's Economic Daily News said that HTC Corp., the world's No. 5 smartphone maker, has "opened discussions about an intent to acquire" Palm.

Palm has for years been mentioned as a potential takeover target for much larger companies — such as Lenovo Group — hoping to enter the mobile market or expand their presence.

"Palm's limited scale, distribution and weak global brand outside the United States all point to a takeover as the next chapter in the Palm story," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber.

"The company has developed a highly valuable asset in webOS. The challenge for Palm is finding a buyer prepared to pay a premium for an immature platform when many potential suitors have already invested heavily in Android," Blaber said.

In the past, technology companies Dell Inc. and Microsoft Corp. and handset manufacturer Nokia and Motorola Inc. have all been named as potential suitors.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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