As Bloomberg reported on Monday, the signed document that founded Apple in 1976 will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s in an approaching books and manuscripts auction. The original draft consists of three pages and contains the signatures of Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak. In the December auction, it is the third most expensive lot being sold, expected to bring $150,000.
While working at Atari Inc., Wayne, to whom the contract originally belonged, met Jobs and was subsequently promised a 10% stake if he could talk Wozniak into joining Apple. The official paperwork was drafted by the three founders on April 1st, 1976, establishing the emerging techgiant.
However, Wayne withdrew as a partner on April 12th, with $800 for his share of the company. According to Sotheby’s, he later received one more payment of $1500, though his original stake would have been estimated at $2.6 billion by the end of 2010.
The document was sold to the auction house in the mid-1990’s by a manuscript dealer, who obtained the founding contract from Wozniak. As head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, Richard Austin notes, it was just before Jobs rejoined Apple that everyone thought to be “pretty much finished” at the time.
Many saw Jobs as the driving force behind the company’s drastic turnaround in becoming one of the world’s largest companies. Apple ex-CEO’s untimely death last month generated a huge amount of media, which partly prompted Sotheby’s to sell the document.