Canon Rumored to Consider $6.5 Billion Acquisition of Apple in 1995

In 1995, rumors swirled of Canon's potential $6.5B acquisition of Apple, highlighting the company's struggles before Steve Jobs' return and its transformation into a tech giant.

Bijay Laxmi
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Canon Rumored to Consider $6.5 Billion Acquisition of Apple in 1995

Canon Rumored to Consider $6.5 Billion Acquisition of Apple in 1995

In April 1995, the technology industry was abuzz with rumors that Canon, the Japanese camera company, was considering a $6.5 billion acquisition of Apple Computer. The potential deal would have offered Apple shareholders $54.50 per share, a significant premium over the company's stock price at the time.

The speculation arose after Apple reported its latest earnings, which showed a notable improvement but still fell short of Wall Street's expectations. For the second quarter of 1995, Apple posted earnings of $73 million, more than quadrupling the $17 million earned in the same period a year earlier. Despite this growth, Apple was still facing financial challenges and its CEO, Mike Spindler, was reportedly seeking prospective acquirers for the company.

Canon, known for its cameras and office equipment, was one of several companies rumored to be interested in acquiring Apple. Other potential suitors mentioned included IBM and Sun Microsystems. However, neither Apple nor Canon confirmed any ongoing negotiations, leaving the tech world to speculate about the possibility of a merger.

Canon's interest in Apple was not entirely surprising, given the company's previous involvement with NeXT, the company founded by Steve Jobs after his departure from Apple. Canon had acquired an ownership interest in NeXT, which added to the intrigue surrounding the potential acquisition of Apple.

Why this matters: The rumored acquisition of Apple by Canon in 1995 highlights the tumultuous period the company faced in the mid-1990s. The potential deal underscores the challenges Apple encountered before its remarkable turnaround under Steve Jobs' leadership in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Ultimately, the Canon-Apple acquisition never materialized. Canon denied any interest in purchasing Apple, and the Cupertino-based company continued to navigate its way through a difficult period. It wasn't until the return of Steve Jobs in 1997 that Apple began its transformation into the tech giant it is today. Jobs implemented a new strategy that focused on innovation, design, and user experience, leading Apple to become one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world.

Key Takeaways

  • In 1995, rumors circulated of Canon's $6.5B acquisition of Apple at $54.50/share.
  • Apple's Q2 1995 earnings improved but fell short, leading CEO to seek acquirers.
  • Canon, IBM, and Sun Microsystems were rumored potential suitors for Apple.
  • Canon's interest stemmed from its prior investment in Steve Jobs' NeXT company.
  • The acquisition never materialized, but Apple's turnaround began with Steve Jobs' return in 1997.