Apple TV rumor mill makes millions, iTV ‘confirmed’

Apple may not be buying a high-design German home entertainment device maker, but that doesn’t mean investors in the rumoured target company won’t make a killing – and it doesn’t mean they won’t still have a part to play in Apple’s iTV.

This is a classic weekend story conundrum…

  • In the early hours of Sunday morning, AppleInsider reported an anonymous source as saying Apple has offered €87.3 million ($ 112 million) for Kronach-based Loewe, which makes sleek TV sets and speakers.
  • By Sunday morning, a Loewe spokesperson quoted by German press (Heise Online) said there was “absolutely nothing to it”.

But the apparent rebuttal didn’t gain as much pick-up as the excited speculation about the sexy products Apple might be buying.

Net effect: When German markets opened on Monday morning, shares in publicly-traded Loewe rocketed by around 25 percent.

That pushed Loewe’s market cap to over €77 million ($ 99 million) by mid-morning – up from what had been €59.1 million before the rumours, and not far off Apple’s rumoured offer price.

And the price kept rising even after traders had a chance to read the apparent denial over their morning coffee.

What we do know is…

  • Loewe in 2011 made a €10.5 million loss on €274 million revenue.
  • Its largest shareholder is Sharp, with almost 30 percent.
  • Sharp has formed a joint venture with Apple’s assembly contractor Foxconn.

Ahead of the weekend, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou was reported as confirming production of the forthcoming set…

China Daily: “Gou said Foxconn is making preparations for iTV … although development or manufacturing has yet to begin.

“iTV reportedly features an aluminum construction, Siri, and FaceTime video calling

“Foxconn’s recent 50-50 joint venture factory with Sharp in Japan is one of the preparations made for the new device, Gou added.”

AppleInsider had reported Loewe would decide on a deal or otherwise by May 18.

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