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Contract that established Apple up for auction at Sotheby's

Press Trust of India
Nov 29, 2011 at 01:38pm IST

New York: An April 1976 contract establishing Apple and signed by the technology giant's three founding partners - Steve Jobs, Stephen Wozniak and Ronald Wayen - will go under the hammer at auction house Sotheby's here next month and is expected to fetch about USD 150,000.

The "two typed documents" of the three-page "Apple Computer Company Partnership Agreement" dated April 1, 1976 will be auctioned by Sotheby's on December 13. It is estimated to fetch anywhere between USD 100,000-150,000. Along with the original Apple partnership agreement, an amendment dated April 12 dissolving Wayne's share in Apple will also be put up for auction. "This is a foundation document in terms of financial history, social history and technological history," said Richard Austin, the head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby's. It is the "founding document of the company that has revolutionised technology, business, personal computing and the world."

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Wayne's withdrawal as partner was documented by a County of Santa Clara statement, which is also part of the Sotheby's lot. Wayne received USD 800 for relinquishing his 10 per cent ownership of Apple, according to the document. He subsequently received another payment of USD 1,500. The original partnership agreement is in three pages (8 x 11 in; 216 x 279 mm) with "small staple holes and crease in upper left corners."

Contract that established Apple up for auction

The contract, signed by Steve Jobs, Stephen Wozniak and Ronald Wayen, is expected to fetch about USD 150,000.

The trio met on April 1, 1976 in Wayne's apartment to draft and sign the partnership agreement for the Apple Computer Company, with Wozniak's friend Randy Wigginton standing by. "The document, written by Wayne, is replete with self-conscious legal jargon, but is otherwise relatively simple,

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comprised only of two and a half pages of text in which Wayne spells out the shares 'JOBS is herewith assigned a total of fourty-five per cent (45%) of all rights, title, and interest in and to the COMPANY, and all assets there contained' as was Wozniak," according to Sotheby's.

Just 11 days after signing the partnership agreement, Wayne filed a statement of withdrawal from the Apple Computer Company with the County of Santa Clara and signed an amendment to the original April agreement, in which Jobs and Wozniak agree to pay him USD 800 "In consideration of the relinquishment of Wayne's former percentage of ownership..." The present agreement is Wayne's copy of the original founding contract and the amendment produced days later withdrawing his ownership share in the partnership.

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"The documents are the first chapter of an astonishing story," Sotheby's said. Jobs had left Reed College in 1974 and joined gaming firm Atari where he met Wayne. "It was Wayne's influence that provided the last push for the foundation of Apple Computers, giving him a role important enough to earn him shareholder's status in the fledgling tech company," according to Sotheby's.

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