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Palm also looking at licensing webOS and / or finding new investors

Nilay Patel
04.12.10
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Although we've got the feeling that Palm will eventually be sold off, apparently that's not the only option on the table: Reuters and Street Insider have followed up last night's news that Palm is up for sale with some more details, including the revelations that Cisco is an interested buyer and Palm is also considering licensing webOS and / or seeking an additional infusion of cash from an outside investor. We're at all sure who'd be willing to join Bono's Elevation Partners in pumping more cash into Palm as it stands right now, but we can certainly see the company loosening the strings and licensing webOS to other manufacturers, something it did with great success back in the Palm OS days. Of course, that success eventually led to a string of terrible business decisions and the brink of failure, from upon which Palm has never returned, but hey -- at least it's familiar territory, right? Sigh.

In other news, Palm CTO Mitch Allen is scheduled to talk about Palm's patent strategy next month, and the press release announcing his talk straight-up values the company's IP portfolio at $8-$9 a share, or around a billion and a half dollars. If that's true, it means anyone buying Palm at today's closing price and market cap of $6 and $1.01b would be getting a nice little discount -- which is probably why bids are expected to come in this week. We'll see what goes down; it looks like most of you agree with us that HTC would be a terrific match here, but anything can happen. Stay tuned.

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