U2’s Bono had invested hundreds of millions of American dollars in Palm. However, Bono is going to end up losing money off of the recent sale of Palm to Hewlett-Packard. This is a move that is going to end up hurting his private equity investment. It will also work to get HP to get into the mobile device market.
When Palm first came around in 1992 it was the leader in the mobile device industry. The company created some of the first mobile devices on the market. These included personal digital assistants that worked to pave the way for the iPhone and other popular mobile devices.
Palm began to fall apart as Apple, Research in Motion and others began to take hold of the mobile device industry. Sales of Palm products have plummeted significantly over the years. Even the Palm Pre device has had a hard time competing with others since it was introduced last year.
This past week HP bought out Palm. This was done by taking over the control of Palm from Elevation Partners, a private equity group that Bono owns.
This news shows how HP is looking to make its name known in the world of mobile devices. It is also something that displays how HP is looking to compete with a variety of large names from all over the world. This comes from how news reports state that Lenovo and HTC were both competing to buy up Palm at the same time.
HP bought out Palm in a deal that is worth more than one billion American dollars. HP also bought up the shares that Palm has at a cost of $5.70 per share. This is a slight increase over the $4.63 closing price that Palm had a day before the sale. This is still substantially lower than what shares were worth last year. Shares were around eighteen dollars each when the Palm Pre was released in 2009.
News reports are stating that the equity in Palm was valued at a little under a billion dollars. After debts were removed from the entire transaction cost the equity was valued at $961 billion. About $400 billion in debt was in Palm’s name. Much of that debt will be handled through the cash that Palm had on its hands at the time of the sale.
Bono’s Elevation Partners will end up losing $140 million in the transaction. Elevation had a thirty percent ownership stake in Palm prior to the sale. The fact that debts were handled in the transaction caused the value of Elevation’s stake to go from $460 million in value to $320 million. Although Elevation still has plenty of money leftover this is still a substantial blow to the company.
It is not certain as to what HP will be doing with Palm at this point. It can be told that HP will be more than likely moving its way into the mobile device industry over time. It can also be seen that Elevation Partners might be in traction for a period of time.