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Acquicor Tech Enjoys Apple's Halo

Updated from 12:54 p.m. EST

The IPO propsectus is more than a detailed introduction of a company going public. It's the stock market's Breathalyzer: Its reading can tell you whether executives and investors in a company are operating under the influence of some reality-distorting substance.

And there are some hearty fumes coming off the prospectus from Acquicor Technology (AQR.U), a Newport Beach, Calif.-based company founded by Gil Amelio, best remembered as a former CEO of Apple Computer (AAPL), who, in exchange for a $2.5 million-a- year salary and a $5 million loan, presided over declines in Apple's earnings, market share, headcount and stock price.

After Steve Jobs replaced Amelio, Apple's stock rose nearly 20 times over. Amelio went on to become a venture capitalist and consultant. One of his firms, AmTech, went bankrupt in 2003.

(Acquicor's filing includes this odd and somewhat defensive insight into the mind of Amelio: "Although the stock price of Apple Computer did not rise during Dr. Amelio's tenure as CEO, he believes that the changes he made while CEO laid the foundation for the rise in the price of Apple Computer common stock after his departure.")

Now at Aquicor, Amelio is being joined by two other Apple alumni: Ellen Hancock, who, after a stint as Apple's chief technical officer in the mid-1990s, headed up Exodus Communications, which filed for bankruptcy in 2001; and Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Jobs 30 years ago and whose most recent venture, Wheels of Zeus, shuttered its doors on Friday.

Those pedigrees were the primary reason Acquicor raised $150 million in an IPO Tuesday. Its stock has risen some 13% since then, trading at $7 recently on Monday.

So, where is the $150 million Acquicor raised going to go? Well, $8.3 million went to pay for the IPO. And the rest is going to...well, nobody really knows much about that. But Amelio and Co. are hoping to buy some really neat stuff.

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