Today in Apple history: Pixar IPO makes Steve Jobs a billionaire

November 29, 1995 Capitalization of success Toy Story, Pixar places 6.9 million shares on the stock exchange. The IPO makes Steve Jobs, who owns more than 80% of the company, a billionaire.

After an unexpected win, one of the first people Jobs calls is his friend, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who is already a member of the Billionaires Club.

“Hello, Larry?” Jobs tells his friend on the phone. “I made it.”

Pixar’s initial public offering

At a price of $ 22 per share, Pixar (or PIXR, as it appeared on the NASDAQ stock market) reached a maximum of $ 49.50 on the day of the IPO. It ended at $ 39 with 4.8 million shares.

Success was mostly driven Toy Story, Pixar’s first feature-length animated film, which became a big hit after its release. The total investment at the box office worldwide of 358 million dollars made him only second place Aladdin i The king of lions in terms of blockbusters of animated films.

Pixar was one of the first technology companies to experience highly profitable IPOs during the technology boom from the mid to late 1990s. This followed Netscape Communications’ highly profitable public offering in August 1995.

Following the success of Netscape’s IPO, San Francisco-based investment bank Robertson Stephens agreed to accept the Pixar IPO. She submitted it to the SEC in October.

The beginning of a reversal

Many people ignore Pixar (certainly compared to Apple) when listing Jobs’ great achievements. This is happening for several reasons, and both seem to be related to the general public confusion about Jobs ’involvement in the animation studio.

For starters, Jobs invested in Pixar while he was outside of Apple. He bought a majority stake in the animation studio from him Star Wars creator George Lucas for just $ 5 million (and an additional $ 5 million in guaranteed funding) in early 1986.

This period of Jobs’ life often proves confusing. On the outside, it looks like a decade-long stay in which Jobs poured money into two apparently failed ventures. Somehow he turned them around, became a billionaire and returned to Apple as an experienced manager.

Another reason why Jobs’s Pixar years are ignored? Unlike Apple, Jobs did not act as a practical micromanager at Pixar. Although he played a major role in negotiating studio contracts, he took on a passive creative role. He simply leaned back and watched a group of brilliant people (from whom he learned a lot) as they achieved greatness.

Pixar iPO: The beginning of the third act of Steve Jobs

Still, Jobs really deserved the Pixar IPO home run. He possessed an unwavering faith in the possibilities offered by computer animated films. And he financed this dream until Moore’s law caught up with him. He also helped mediate the deal he made Toy Story to silver screens.

Following the IPO, Jobs negotiated a new five-image deal between Pixar and Disney. That gave Pixar an equal share of the profits, along with merchandise and on-screen credits. (In contrast, Toy Story the deal is tilted significantly in Disney’s favor.)

According to Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, part of the reason for the IPO was that, in addition to the equal distribution of profits, the studio also had to invest 50% of the cost of film production. It took money in the bank for that.

The Pixar IPO also began Jobs ’professional turnaround after several disappointing years. Within a year of the IPO, Jobs was preparing to return to Apple’s campus as part of a deal by which Apple bought NeXT.

The rest, as they say, is history …

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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