updated 04:30 pm EST, Thu January 12, 2012
Offshore cash growing dramatically,
Apple's buyout of Anobit was worth about $390 million, according to Bloomberg sources said to be familiar with the acquisition. Negotiations reportedly continued for about two weeks after December 20th, when the deal was originally claimed to have been forged. Two anonymous Anobit shareholders specifically say that an agreement was signed on January 6th.
A Seeking Alpha blogger meanwhile notes that based on its most recent 10K filings, most of the company's $82 billion in cash and investments -- $54 billion -- is held outside of the US. The offshore portion is furthermore said to be growing exponentially, thanks to weaker overseas taxes, as well as growing foreign markets. The major barrier to rebalancing this is said to be a 35 percent US corporate tax that would make repatriating the cash extremely costly.
Apple is one of a number of American corporations that have been lobbying for a tax break that would let them return cash to the US at much less expense. Seeking Alpha suggests that the repatriation tax is an obstacle to any major US acquisitions, or stock buybacks and dividends; the company could, in theory, become a mainly overseas business. At the same time, critics have charged that too much of a tax break could deprive a cash-strapped US government of needed income.