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SELLING A BUSINESS

Apple Acquisition News Revealed on LinkedIn Profiles
 

The notoriously secretive Apple has acquired two companies. News of one deal broke partly thanks to changes in employees' LinkedIn profiles.
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After weeks of speculation, Apple Tuesday confirmed it acquired privately held Austin chip designer Intrinsity. The company, founded in 1997, develops high-speed, low-power version of popular chips. It's also reportedly designed portions of the processor that Apple used in its iPad. Apple wouldn't confirm the purchase price, but it's reported to be $121 million. Intrinisty's homepage has been unvailable since Tuesday.

Word of the deal first broke when several Intrinsity employees had started to list Apple as their employer on LinkedIn, according to trade publications and the New York Times

In February, Intrinsity raised $4 million from 11 investors in a new round of funding, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In 2008, the company close a $31.5 million Series E round of funding, which brought its venture capital raised to more than $50 million.
 
in a post on ComputerWorld's website Wednesday, Intrinisity founder Paul Nixon wrote: "Knowing Intrinsity extremely well (founding CEO, left in 2005), it is very likely that their technology can be in the A4 [chip which powers the iPad]... Intrinsity invented the automation of very high-speed design (72+ patents), called Fast 14 Technology, and has consistently delivered processor IP to the market that is faster and lower power than anything in the industry."

Meanwhile, Apple has also acquired Siri, a start-up that makes a free voice-operated virtual personal assistant application for the iPhone. The application uses voice recognition, location information and knowledge of a user's relationships and history  – so after it helps you snag last minute concert tickets, it can find you somewhere to eat nearby. The company grew out of a $150 million artificial intelligence project (funded by the U.S. Defense Department).

The acquisition agreement has been signed but the deal hasn't closed yet, Shawn Carolan, managing director at Menlo Ventures and a Siri boardmember, told Bloomberg News Wednesday. "The offer from Apple had to be very compelling for the executive team and the board to accept," said Carolan. He declined to disclose the terms.

Blogger Robert Scoble first posted the Siri acquisition news, linking to a Federal Trade Commission document that listed the deal as one granted early termination under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which are antitrust laws.  (You can view the document here—click April 27—or check out a free Siri app here.)

The pair of Apple acquisitions come ahead of the expected launch of the new version of the iPhone this summer. Apple sold about 8.75 million of the smartphones last quarter. There is no word yet on whether the employees at Intrinisity who let the news slip will subsequently be given a crash course in adhering to Apple's notorious omerta.  (Which remind us: Does your company have a social media policy?)

Last updated: Apr 29, 2010

Inc. contributing editor COURTNEY RUBIN was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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