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Thursday, April 06, 2006, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Apple forms Braeburn investment firm to grow its cash

Apple Computer has formed a new company to manage its swelling cash reserves and short term investments, public documents have revealed.

According to a BusinessWeek report, Apple has incorporated Braeburn Capital, an asset management company based in Reno, Nevada and has placed "help wanted" ads, looking for financial officers to help the company grow its cash. They seek a senior and junior financial officer who would report to Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer and Apple's board on a quarterly basis.

The new company — which is named after a variety of apple that's uniquely sweet and tart — will be a vehicle for managing Apple's investment portfolio and wil help the company avoid certain California state taxes, according to the report.

By incorporating in Nevada, Apple reportedly hopes to shield itself from certain taxes imposed by the state of California.

"Apple's cash reserve has nearly doubled over the last two years. At the end of 2005, Apple had $8.7 billion in cash and short term investments, about 15 percent of its market capitalization," wrote BusinessWeek. "That's up 91 percent, from $4.6 billion, at the end of 2003. And it compares with much bigger rivals like Dell, which reported $9 billion in cash and short-term investments for the quarter ended February."

An Apple spokesman told the publication that Braeburn, a wholly-owned subidiary, will function as a regional treasury office, on par with existing offices in Cupertino, Singapore, and Cork, Ireland, but declined to comment on the tax implications or elaborate on Braeburn's investment plans.