A Year Ago: Adobe: "We are not for sale"

First published: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 16:58:59 GMT
Written by Richard Barry, Contributor

Creative software giant Adobe has reacted sternly to the advances of the relative minnow Quark, which last week attempted to buy a stake in the firm.

In an interview with ZDNet UK News, Adobe UK MD Alaisdair Boyle says the company may be going through some irksome changes but is in no mood to be entertaining what one analyst believes is an attempt by Quark to draw attention to Adobe's misfortunes.

"This is no surprise" quips Ann Stephens, president of research analyst PC Data in the US, "I mean what's so unusual anymore. You have WorldCom buying the much larger MCI and things in this market are so competitive, no wonder the little guys are moving in. The larger the purchase the bigger the opportunities." Stephens believes Quark's reasoning is quite straight forward: "Adobe issues a warning, its share price drops and there's the opportunity for a buy. It's a sign of the times and of Adobe's current predicament. It's very competitive out there, Quark's actions are understandable."

Sign of the times or not, Boyle's message is clear: "Adobe is not for sale and we do not welcome this unsolicited offer." He makes it clear that he sees Quark's attention as little more than blatant opportunism. "The financial world doesn't like it when a company issues a warning or discusses lay-offs... Quark may well have seen our current position as an opportunity, but we don't welcome the attention."

Just what opportunity remains a mystery: Quark, notorious for avoiding contact with the press, failed to respond to ZDNet's requests for a comment.

What is known from Quark's Web site, is that the company is eyeing Adobe seriously: in a letter dated August 18, 1998 the software house wrote to Adobe expressing an interest to buy "all or a significant portion of Adobe's common stock at a cash price that would be at a premium above Adobe's current market price and requested a meeting with Adobe management".

The site adds the "proposal was summarily rejected by Adobe in a letter dated August 21, 1998".

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