The founding papers for Apple Inc, which had the signatures of all three co-founders, have been sold at auction for $1,594,500 (£1.03m).
Renowned auction house Sotheby’s had predicted that the three typed partnership agreements would sell for just $100,000, putting a maximum estimate at $150,000.
However, the documents were signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, making them precious collectors items to the millions of members of “the cult of Mac.”
Apple has long inspired devotion among its legions of fans, and the recent death of Steve Jobs has undoubtedly inspired more frenzy in Apple collectors.
A piece of history
The papers, signed on 1 April 1976, included an amendment to the partnership agreement that was added 11 days later, when Ronald Wayne quit.
The well-documented papers allow for an opportunity to see history unfold as the corporation was left with just Jobs and Wozniak to begin changing the way people use, interact, and feel about computers.
The millionaire buyer taking home the prize was Eduardo Cisneros, chief executive of the Cisneros Corporation.
The Cisneros Corporation, based in Miami, owns takes in businesses from real estate to telecommunications.
Five other bidders took part in the sale, raising the figure to the almost-unimaginable $1.6 million.
Included in the massive sale price was the 12% buyer’s premium, which was paid to Sotheby’s auction house for holding the auction.
This means the documents themselves are valued at around $1.35 million.
While the papers were legal documents, they came into the possession of seller Wade Saadi, founder of the IT recruitment firm Pencom Systems. Saadi purchased the documents from Wayne, the “missing” third Apple founder, in 1994 for the sum of “several thousand dollars.”
Saddi was able to turn thousands into millions in 17 years just by waiting until the right time to sell them.
The documents show that Wayne was given $800 when he sold back his 10% stake in the Apple corporation. He also received a further $1,500 at a later date.
However, Wayne played an important role in the founding of the firm, as he convinced his then-friend Steve Wozniak to leave his job at Hewlett Packard in order to start his own company.
His 10% stake in the company was given as a “tie breaker” in case Jobs or Wozniak were to have a disagreement.
However, he left the firm less than a fortnight later because he feared his assets could be seized if the new venture failed.