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Nokia, AOL and Motorola to take stakes too

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Updated 3Com subsidiary Palm Computing filed its divorce papers yesterday -- or at least early details of how it's going to break away from the comms giant through its upcoming IPO. Palm hopes to make $100 million on the issue, which is believed to be scheduled for next February, though there's nothing in the company's S-1 Securities and Exchange Commission filing to confirm that. Neither is there confirmation of the number of shares to be issued or there price point -- Palm will reveal that information in a later filing, closer to the IPO date. What is known is that the company will launch on Nasdaq with the symbol PALM (surprise, surprise...). The issue will be underwritten by Goldman Sachs. Palm will use the proceeds of the IPO "for payment of a dividend to 3Com, payment of other amounts due to 3Com, capital expenditures, marketing expenses, working capital and potential investments in, or acquisitions of, other businesses or technologies". After the IPO, 3Com will remain the majority shareholder in Palm, retaining around 80 per cent of the company. That will be reduced further by private sales to Nokia, Motorola and AOL, which will each take 1.5 per cent of the company in a sale worth a total of $225 million -- which, based on Palm's estimate IPO takings shows just how little of the company is being sold off to the public (though it has to be said, the $100 million is little more than an estimate used to calculate Palm's fees to the SEC). Motorola will be using Palm for "new wireless products" -- possibly its own version of the Palm VII -- notes the filing. Nokia recently licensed the PalmOS for mobile phone products, and AOL will apparently work with Palm to offer Internet access through the handheld devices, part of its AOL Anywhere strategy, presumably. ® Related Stories Smartphones, Palms to dominate mobile market PalmOS extends lead over WinCE -- just New chiefs for old at Palm Sony steps on gas to get Palm-based products out quickly Sony, Palm deal set to expand PalmOS horizons -- and then some

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