A collector has paid nearly $1.6 million for the contracts that established Apple Inc. as a company back on April 1, 1976, giving new meaning to Apple Fanboy. The auction, which took place yesterday, came just two months after Steve Jobs’ untimely death, no doubt skyrocketing the value to astronomical proportions. Originally expected to draw bids of $100,000 – $150,000, the six-page bundle went for approximately $1,594,500 after taxes and fees, ten times its estimated price.
Eduardo Cisneros, CEO of Cisneros Corp. was the highest bidder on the day, collecting his prize of documents that were signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne that made the Cupertino-based company official more than thirty years ago. The documents gave Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak each 45 percent of Apple’s shares, while Ronald Wayne, who drafted the contract, got 10 percent. Later, Wayne signed a Statement of Withdrawal, relinquishing his 10 percent shares. In return, Wayne received $2,300.Today, that 10 percent is valued around $2 billion. Wayne had previously held on to the documents until selling them to a private collector in 1994.
“The founding contract of the Apple Corporation is the first chapter in the story of one of America’s most important companies,” said Richard Austin, Head of the Books Department at Sotheby’s New York where the auction took place. “Collectors recognized the importance of this piece of technological, corporate and social history sending the price to $1.6 million – many multiples of the $100/150,000 estimate.”