Term Sheet

The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley

When Apple's Tim Cook didn't like stock splits

April 23, 2014: 4:52 PM ET

Apple is doing something Tim Cook once said "does nothing."


FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL)  just announced that it will do a 7-1 stock split, alongside an increased dividend (to 8%) and an increased stock buyback (from $60 billion to $90 billion).

Who could object to such a thing? Well, except for a past incarnation of Apple CEO Tim Cook.

During a shareholder meeting in February 2012, Cook was asked about why Apple wasn't doing a stock split. His reply was that, in most cases, "a stock split does nothing" beyond create a short-term share price bump.

Then again, Apple of early 2012 was only two years removed from the introduction of the iPad, and expectations were that another major category creation was just around the corner. Since them, however, the company has done little more than create new versions of existing products. In the meantime, Google (GOOG) has been working on self-driving cars and web-enabled glasses, while Facebook (FB) is working to make virtual reality the next desktop.

Perhaps what's really changed more over the past two years has been the nature of Apple, rather than the nature of stock splits...

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  • Buffett: Coke exec compensation plan was excessive

    Coca-Cola's controversial executive compensation plan passed at Coke's annual meeting, but without Buffett's help.

    FORTUNE -- Warren Buffett called Coca-Cola's (KO) controversial compensation plan excessive, but said he declined to vote against it.

    The plan -- which will pay Coke managers generously with shares of the company if they achieve specific performance goals -- passed on Wednesday at Coke's annual meeting, but without Buffett's help. Buffett said he abstained in the vote. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), Buffett's insurance MORE

    - Apr 23, 2014 4:22 PM ET
  • Zynga founder Mark Pincus is no longer in the C-suite

    Zynga founder and former CEO steps down from operational role.

    FORTUNE -- Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) founder Mark Pincus is stepping down from an operational role at the social game-maker, nearly one year after turning over the CEO reigns to former Microsoft (MSFT) executive Don Mattrick.

    Pincus had been serving as chief product officer, and will continue to serve as chairman of Zynga's board of directors.

    In an interview with Re/Code, Pincus said that he plans to continue MORE

    - Apr 23, 2014 4:12 PM ET
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  • For some U.S. states, budget woes are on the horizon

    Many U.S. states are approaching the start of fiscal 2015 in better financial health than at any other point since the start of the Great Recession, but headwinds remain for some.

    By Gabe Petek

    FORTUNE -- The economist John Maynard Keynes once said, "The boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity."

    Though it's hard to imagine using the word "boom" for America's slow, often painful economic recovery, Keynes' insight has MORE

    Apr 23, 2014 1:14 PM ET
  • Ackman's Allergan play: Not insider trading, not a problem for private equity

    Bill Ackman's bold deal with Valeant Pharma isn't likely to set off alarm bells at either the SEC or private equity firms.

    FORTUNE -- Sometimes if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's actually a different animal. That seems to be the lesson from yesterday's news that Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) and activist investor Bill Ackman are partnering on a $50 billion takeover offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc. (AGN), MORE

    - Apr 23, 2014 12:35 PM ET
  • Ardian raises $10 billion for private equity secondaries

    Ardian just raised the largest private equity secondary fund in history. Was it really such a good idea?

    FORTUNE -- Ardian, the investment firm previously known as AXA Private Equity, today announced that it has raised $10 billion for a new fund that will mostly purchase interests in buyout funds ($9 billion for these secondaries, plus $1 billion for primary fund commitments). It is the largest capital pool ever raised for MORE

    - Apr 23, 2014 12:15 PM ET
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  • What's driving the buyout comeback?

    It's likely that these deals are driven more by stock markets than credit markets.

    By Erik Loualiche

    FORTUNE -- Buyouts tend to come in waves. The first arrived in the 1980s, when a series of high-profile leveraged buyouts shook the corporate world. Buyouts surged again in the mid-1990s, the late 1990s, the early 2000s, and around 2006.

    In peak years, there were nearly a hundred buyouts -- in off years, as few as MORE

    Apr 23, 2014 11:28 AM ET
  • Deals of the day: Pure Storage raises $250 million

    To get deals in your inbox each morning, sign up for our Term Sheet newsletter

    Venture Capital Deals

    Pure Storage, a Mountain View, Calif.-based all-flash enterprise storage array company, has raised $225 million in Series F funding at a pre-money valuation north of $3 billion. Wellington Management was joined by return backers T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. The company has now raised $470 MORE

    - Apr 23, 2014 11:27 AM ET
  • Icahn looking to launch an army of mini-Icahns

    Legendary Wall Streeter says he could spend as much as $1 billion seeding new activist investors.

    FORTUNE -- Presumably, they would be younger and better looking.

    Carl Icahn says he is interested in helping to start up other activist funds that invest like him. On Tuesday, speaking at IMN's Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York, Icahn said he would be willing to provide seed money to get a number of funds off the ground.

    Icahn said MORE

    - Apr 23, 2014 9:22 AM ET
  • Behind Bill Ackman's deal for Botox maker Allergan

    In fact, the deal has two activist investor backers, not one.

    FORTUNE -- The proposed acquisition of Botox maker Allergan by eyecare pharmaceutical company Valeant appears to be driven by activist hedge fund investor Bill Ackman, of Herbalife fame.

    But, in fact, the deal has two activist-investor backers, not one.

    Jeff Ubben of ValueAct says he has been pushing for the acquisition for almost a year, and he backs it now. "It's a MORE

    - Apr 22, 2014 1:24 PM ET
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