Phone, PC makers keen to grab struggling Palm

HTC, Lenovo, Nokia and Dell Computer are reportedly making bids to acquire smartphone maker Palm, which comes at a US$1.1 billion price tag.
Written by Joel D. Pinaroc, Contributor and  Victoria Ho, Contributor

HTC, Lenovo, Nokia and Dell Computer are reportedly making their bids to acquire struggling mobile device maker, Palm.

Palm has put itself on sale with a US$1.1 billion price tag and is seeking bids as early as this week, according to sources quoted in a Bloomberg report Tuesday. HTC and Lenovo will make their respective offers "soon", the news wire said.

Palm has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst Partners to solicit bids.

Private equity firm, Elevation Partners, currently owns a 30 percent stake in the company, according to Elevation's Web site, which is co-owned by rock singer Bono.

Palm has struggled in the global smartphone market, following disappointing sales of its Pre and Pixi smartphones. The company's stock also suffered on the Nasdaq, plunging more than 60 percent over the past year, although news of its rumored sale sent shares up 17 percent, according to the New York Times.

Its third-quarter earnings report, released in March this year, revealed that the company lost US$102 million in the quarter.

Recognized as one of the pioneers of personal digital assistants (PDAs), Palm recently began focusing on software, particularly its WebOS, which competes directly with other mobile operating systems such as Apple's iPhone and Google's Android.

But the PDA pioneer remains a strong brand particularly in the United States, and currently owns a few hardware, software and power-saving technologies, noted the Bloomberg report, adding that this makes Palm an attractive buy.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a Filipino freelance IT writer currently based in Saudi Arabia.

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