Apple may look to acquire or partner with Elon Musk and Tesla

Adrian Perica is a very busy man. Over the past 18 months, the mergers and acquisitions chief at Apple has been scouring the globe looking for deals, snatching up everything from search engines and data analytics to mapping software and motion tracking chips.

Such a buying spree has ignited fierce speculation in tech circles and on Wall Street about Apple’s future ambitions, especially as smartphone and tablet sales start to slow. Most of that speculation has centered on wearable technology or perhaps a souped-up upgrade of Apple TV.

Adrian Perica met with Musk and “probably” Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters last spring.

“While a megadeal has yet to emerge (for all of its cash, Apple still plays hardball on valuation), such a high-level meeting between the two Silicon Valley giants involving their top dealmakers suggests Apple was very much interested in buying the electric car pioneer,” the report said.

“I know this is radical and potentially ‘transformative’ but this would radically alter Apple’s growth profile,” Ahmad wrote. “In Elon Musk, you could strike up a partnership and obtain a new iconic partner to lead Apple’s innovation drive.”

Apple is heavily exploring medical devices, specifically sensor technology that can help predict heart attacks. Led by Tomlinson Holman, a renowned audio engineer who invented THX and 10.2 surround sound, Apple is exploring ways to predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes at it flows through arteries.

Taken together, Apple’s potential forays into automobiles and medical devices, two industries worlds away from consumer electronics, underscore the company’s deep desire to move away from iPhones and iPads and take big risks.

Apple has $160 billion in cash and investments.

Apple’s moves of late suggest a bit more urgency. Since the company hired Perica from Goldman Sachs in 2009, Apple has quickened its pace of acquisitions. Last month, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it spent $525 million on deals in the previous quarter, almost double what it spent for the entire previous year.

SOURCE – San Francisco Chronicle

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