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Apple 'to buy German premium TV maker Loewe'

Latest Apple TV rumours point to £70m deal

Its no secret that Apple is planning to make its own super-smart TV sets in the near future, although, of course being Apple, it’s very secret indeed.

[This story updated, 10.45pm, May 13]

Rumours intensified following the publication of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, where he revealed Jobs’ claim that he had “cracked” the secret of how to revolutionise the television industry, just as Apple had done to the computer and music industries.

The much-rumoured television product is apparently to be called iTV, which has brought Apple into a legal wrangle with UK independent television company ITV.

The latest rumour surrounding the misty hype is that Apple is negotiating to acquire Loewe, the German manufacturer and distributor of premium TVs, audio components and integrated entertainment systems.

AppleInsider even suggests that a final decision on the Apple TV acquisition is expected to be announced by next week, with the deal being worth 87.3 million Euros (£70m, US$112m).

AppleInsider’s source claims that Loewe "has been advised by its financial advisor to accept the offer and a final decision is scheduled to be announced internally before 18 May 2012."

Loewe is part owned by Sharp (28.83 percent) and LaCie (11.17 percent). Sharp is rumoured to be supplying panels for Apple’s new iTV television sets.

Loewe states its central brands values as “minimalist design, meaningful innovation and exclusive individuality”, which fits with Apple’s own design philosophies.

The company also has a range of premium retail “beacon shops” pushing the brand and Loewe products in major international cities.

In 2011 Loewe had sales of 274.3m Euros, down from 2010’s 307.3m.

It employs over a thousand employees worldwide.

Last week Apple factory partner Foxconn boss, Terry Gou, reportedly confirmed that Apple is working on a HD television setAccording to China Daily, Gou has said that Apple manufacturer Foxconn is working with Sharp in Japan to prepare for production of the highly anticipated Apple television set.

"Gou said Foxconn is making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc's rumoured upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin," says the report.

UPDATE: Loewe later refused to answer questions on the possible Apple Acquisition, releasing an official statement: "Loewe does not take part in any rumours in the market. Therefore Loewe will not comment any news on Loewe and Apple."


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