Apple's Founding Contract to be Auctioned - Estimated to Sell for $150,000
According to Bloomberg
, it was recently revealed that the document which founded Apple in 1976 will be sold by Sotheby’s in an upcoming books and manuscripts auction. The original three-page draft is signed by the co-founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. As of right now, the document is considered to be the third most-valuable lot being sold in this December’s auction. The head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s in New York, Richard Austin said the following: “This is a foundation document in terms of financial history, social history, and technological history.”
For those of you who didn’t already know, Wayne was the original owner of the contract. He met Jobs while working at Atari Inc. and was later promised a 10% stake if he could persuade Wozniak to join Apple. The three of them together drafted the official paperwork on April 1, 1976 which ended up establishing the computer company that is considered one of the most innovative companies today.
On April 12, 1976, Wayne withdrew as a partner and received $800 for his share of the company. It was noted that Wayne received another payment of $1500 afterwards but if he maintained his share, by the end of 2010, his original stake would have been worth an estimated $2.6 billion
A manuscript dealer who ended up acquiring the founding draft from Wayne sold the documents to the auction house in the mid-1990s. According to Austin, this was right before “Jobs rejoined Apple. At the time, everyone thought that Apple was pretty much finished.”
Jobs has been widely known to be the driving force behind Apple’s success. His death in October and the large amount of press that it generated, Austin felt now was the right time to sell the documents. The original contract comes with a statement that is included by the County of Santa Clara noting Wayne’s withdrawal from Apple as well as an amendment to the original draft. The auction takes place on December 13th in New York and the documents are estimated to sell for approximately $150,000.