NEW YORK — Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison on Tuesday suspended his plans to try to buy troubled Apple Computer Inc., but said he might revisit a takeover in the future.
The software tycoon was the biggest name on the short list of potential buyers of Apple, which has suffered steep losses this last year amid declining sales of its Macintosh computers.
In a statement, released after the close of financial markets Tuesday, Ellison said he decided "at least for the time being" not to pursue any transaction involving Apple, which is based in Cupertino.
Ellison further said he had not yet bought any Apple stock and wasn't talking with the company, shareholders or potential investors.
Ellison had previously said he was forming an investor group independent of Redwood Shores-based Oracle, the second-largest independent software company behind Microsoft Corp. He later said he saw Apple as a maker of network computers, simplified PCs that he strongly advocates.
The bid Ellison contemplated offering would have given current shareholders 60% in cash and 40% stock in Apple, provided they agreed to sell at the stock's current price. Apple shares closed at $17.687, up 6.25 cents, Tuesday on Nasdaq.
Still, his plans had met with derision from industry analysts and other critics.
One of his main critics was Apple Chairman Gil Amelio, who would lose his job if Ellison succeeded in gaining control. Ellison had said Apple needs new management.
Kevin Hause, an industry analyst with International Data Corp. in Mountain View, said not many people thought Ellison was that serious about gaining control of Apple because there were too many unanswered questions about Ellison's plans.