We'll buy Apple, I'll be chairman, claims Ellison

Oracle chairman Larry Ellison believes there is a 'very high possibility' that his bid to acquire Apple Computer will succeed, according to an interview in Japan's leading business daily. He says he could become chairman of Apple and and that he would turn the company into an NC manufacturer.

Oracle Corp. chairman Larry Ellison believes there is a "very high possibility" that his bid to acquire Apple Computer will succeed, according to an interview in Japan's leading business daily.

There is also a chance that Ellison will take the company's top spot following the takeover, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) said.

Late last month Ellison disclosed that he is organising a group of investors to take over troubled computer vendor Apple. At that time he emphasised the bid would be made independent of Oracle, a point he reiterated in the Nikkei today. However, Ellison went on to describe how Apple would fit nicely into Oracle's network computer (NC) campaign.

"Within several weeks the final decision will be made and I think there is a very high possibility that the acquisition will succeed," he said, "It is important to understand that it is not Oracle but me that will make the acquisition."

According to the interview, Oracle sees Apple as a choice foundation for its NC effort. "If the acquisition succeeds we can position Apple as our production base for the NC, which we are promoting," Ellison said.

Ellison reiterated that if the bid succeeds he will replace Apple's current top management, and added that he might take the helm.

"We will ask the current management to leave," he said. "I will remain CEO of Oracle but there is a possibility I will become chairman of Apple," he told the Nikkei.

Ellison extolled Apple's brand recognition in the interview as the "industry's highest" and said if the acquisition succeeds he would keep the name but would "smoothly transfer" Apple into an NC maker.

Ellison would not comment on a takeover price nor the future of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who earlier this year returned to Apple as an advisor to Chairman and CEO Gil Amelio.

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