Apple raises ramparts against Oracle's Ellison

Apple is reported to have hired an investment bank and a public relations firm in the face of takeover threats made by Oracle chairman and chief executive Larry Ellison.

Apple is reported to have hired an investment bank and a public relations firm in the face of takeover threats made by Oracle chairman and chief executive Larry Ellison.

Apple has hired investment bank Goldman, Sachs, known for helping firms fight hostile takeovers, and Abernathy MacGregor Group, a public relations firm that specialises in acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the newspaper report, Apple executives are merely taking defensive measures and aren't convinced Ellison will make good on his bluff. Meanwhile, the report also says, Ellison has been talking to John Chen, chairman of Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems, of San Jose, California, and trying to goad Apple's major institutional shareholders.

An Apple spokesperson says the firm has no comment and a spokesman at Ellison's public relations firm says he has not received any comment from Ellison on the latest report.

Ellison announced late last month that he was forming an investment group to look into the possibility of taking over Apple. He has said he would replace Apple's top management, including stepping into the top spot himself.

Last week at Oracle OpenWorld in Tokyo, Ellison spoke optimistically about his possible bid and said he would transform Apple into a manufacturer of network computers.

Also last week Apple reported a US$708 million loss for the second quarter, attributing much of that to charges related to restructuring and its acquisition of Next Software.

Apple is on the World Wide Web at http://www.apple.com/.

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