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Oracle chief has eye on Apple

Apple Computer has Oracle Corp's CEO, Larry Ellison (right), back on its case again, two years after he attempted to put together a consortium bid for the company. He failed to find anyone prepared to relieve him of the hardware side and is on the record as saying that he will lead a consortium to take control of the company - at current share prices valued at some $2.18bn - if there is enough interest. Clearly interested only in control, not outright ownership of Apple, Ellison is talking in terms of a bid of more than $1bn, which might buy him 51 per cent at current prices.

In an interview last week with the San Jose Mercury News, Ellison admitted that he is flying a kite to gauge investor reaction before deciding whether to proceed. If Ellison were to take control of Apple, he and Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and a close friend of Ellison's, would probably become non-executive directors, he said, adding that the company is in desperate need of new management and leadership. He also blasted Apple's chairman, Gil Amelio, for extravagant corporate spending for his personal pet projects while cutting below.


Bima awards deadline nears

The British Interactive Multimedia Association (Bima) is inviting entries for its 13th annual multimedia awards. They will be judged in 14 categories under the headings: Commissioned Titles, Published Titles, and Craft Awards for Technical Excellence. Two new awards - Home Learning, and Advertising and Promotion - will also be presented on 16 June at the Park Lane Hilton in London. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Bima Web site ( or by phoning Jane Callaghan at Bima (01733 245700, fax: 01733 240020, e-mail: 100744, The deadline for entries is 25 April.