In a long-awaited move, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) has put its considerable cash hoard and market valuation to work, announcing a decision to acquire the country of Canada in a cash-and-stock deal. This $250 billion deal will no doubt stir up controversy and concern among Apple investors about this unprecedented step in national government, while rival technology companies may feel pressure to acquire countries of their own.
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The Structure of the Deal
Apple will be acquiring Canada with a mix of cash and stock, giving every Canadian citizen shares in this leading technology company. To fund the cash portion of the deal, Apple will turn not only to its sizable cash balance, but also bridge loans from an alliance of top American banks.
In the press release announcing their support for the details, the banks' (known as the Coalition of American Banks Above the Law, or CABAL) spokesman heartily endorsed the deal, stating "since U.S. regulators keep bugging us, we have decided to support this revolutionary step for Apple. It is our hope that this encourages other companies to consider acquiring countries and working with us to create a more useful system of rules and regulations. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy!" (Check out 5 Products That Cost More In Canada.)
Why Apple Is Doing the Deal
In its presentation to investors, Apple laid out its case for acquiring Canada – pointing to the country's unusual borders, cumbersome parliamentary system and diverse population. "Like the iPad, we will make Canada thinner, lighter, and faster. We will give Canada the same sleek, elegant lines that we offer with the iPod, while making the entire system run faster than ever before. This will be an interactive country designed to improve the lives of every Canadian."
As part of the deal, Apple will phase out the operation of public services through institutions like Canada Post, Health Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Policy. Instead, Canadian citizens wishing to access public services will need to access them as apps through the iStore. Moreover, currency, including the loonie and toonie, will be phased out in favor of credits in the iStore that Canadians can access through their iPhone or iPads.
Spinning Off Quebec
As part of the deal, Apple announced that it will spin off Quebec after the close of the deal. "Quebec is a beautiful province, and we love the fine Quebecois people. Unfortunately, while poutine and Unibroue are unquestionably awesome, they are not core to our mission at Apple. Moreover, the spin-off of Quebec will allow us to standardize on a single operating language and ensure the interoperability of all our systems. As our millions of thrilled cult ... I mean, "customers," can attest, we place a premium on the interoperability of our products." (For some REAL information about Apple, check out The Apple Ecosystem.)
Analysts Supporting the Move
Commenting shortly after the deal, analyst Geno Monster was supportive of the deal. "Apple has completely reinvented music players, phones and PCs, now it is time to reinvent the notion of a country. Moreover, acquiring Canada should give Apple access to a highly educated workforce and eliminate the problems it has had getting enough talented workers through H1 visas. On top of that, it's so cold up there, people will just stay indoors and do coding and R&D all day." With the announcement, Mr. Monster reiterated his "Super Duper Mega Buy" rating and price target of 4.5 x 10^13.
Other Details of the Deal
As part of the deal, Apple has committed to developing products to ease the transition. The first of these, the iToque, should be ready in time for winter and will bring internet access to the hockey ponds and curling sheets of Western Canada, while allowing wearers to download music in the comfort of breathable fabrics. When asked about whether the company had any plans for changing or upgrading TimBits, an Apple spokesman replied "Absolutely not … we're not that crazy." (For some more REAL Apple-related reading, check out 6 iPhone Apps To Help You Budget Better.)
With the deal, Apple may also have solved the succession issues that have long concerned investors. Ron MacLean will be named as a special assistant to Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs. A source close to the matter commented that "after all those years of handling Don Cherry, Steve will be a pussy-cat." At the same time, Apple will commandeer Don Cherry's wardrobe to test the color recognition and resolution capabilities of future Apple product releases. In related news, Gary Bettman will be reassigned from his duties at the National Hockey League to "chief shovel engineer" at the Toronto Zoo elephant exhibit.
The Bottom Line
With this deal, other large tech companies may face increasing pressure to do a deal to keep up with Apple. In particular, Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) is thought to be interested in a similar deal for Finland, while Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) may battle Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) in a bidding war for Suriname.
For Apple, this is a bold step into a brave new world. Perhaps the deal for Canada, soon to be renamed iUtopia as part of Apple's unified branding strategy, will be a transformative deal in the annals of business history. Alternatively, it may all turn out to be a bad joke.
Happy April Fool's Day from Financial Edge! This article was written for fun, and was not intended to offend or misinform.
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