Apple is not a stranger to acquiring companies from all across the globe, and it sounds like the Cupertino-based company tried to nab Leap Motion not once, but twice.
A new report from Business Insider aims to shed light on why, after two attempts, Apple was not able to acquire the company focused on augmented reality. Apple initially tried to buy Leap Motion back in 2013, but that didn’t pan out. Apple reportedly tried again this year, back in the spring, and it sounds like the deal was pretty close to being finalized, with Leap Motion employees celebrating the transition to Apple:
“Apple had already started talks with Leap Motion’s human resources department to review company benefits and sent out offer letters enclosed in white folders emblazoned with its silver signature logo — the arrival of which caused many employees to break out in high-fives around the office.”
However, as we all know by now, that did not pan out and the deal apparently fell through in the final stages. Even after Apple reportedly offered up to $50 million for the deal. This new report suggests that the deal didn’t complete because of Leap Motion’s co-founders, Michael Buckwald and David Holz. The pair have been vocal about their disinterest in Apple in the past, as noted in this report, going as far as to tell Apple representatives that their technology “sucked”, and that the company is not innovative anymore:
“Not only did Holz seem disinterested in Apple’s prospective offer to acquire its team and intellectual property, the people said, but he was insulting. He told Apple representatives that the company was no longer innovative, that its technology “sucked,” and — to the disbelief of many there — went on to praise the virtues of Android.”
According to Business Insider, Apple’s goal for the acquisition was more of an acqui-hire situation, as Apple was more interested in Leap Motion’s talented employee pool rather than the company’s hardware.
Another anonymous source told BI that Holz has even called Apple “the devil”.
““That’s why the Apple thing didn’t work out. David was like, ‘I’m never going to go work for those guys, they’re the devil,’” a person who worked for Leap Motion at the time said.”
It’s an interesting story to be sure. And one can’t help but wonder if the contentious feelings from the Leap Motion co-founders has something to do with the fact Apple reportedly just wanted the talent on hand, rather than the hardware the company had been building for years. Whatever the case, it doesn’t sound like Leap Motion’s executives are all that interested in an acquisition of any kind by Apple at any point in time.
[via Business Insider]