Apple Founding Contract Signed By Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne Going For Auction Next Month

Posted Nov 28, 2011

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne had drafted a three-page contract that established Apple Computer Co. The contract was drafted up and signed on April 1, 1976. This contract will be auctioned in New York next month and is expected to receive bids for as high as $150,000 according to Sotheby’s.

?This is a foundation document in terms of financial history, social history and technological history,? stated Sotheby’s head of books and manuscripts Richard Austin. The contract was initially owned by Wayne.

Wayne met Jobs while he worked at Atari Inc. Jobs asked Wayne to persuade Steve Wozniak to join Apple. By persuading Wozniak to join, Wayne earned a 10% share in Apple. On April 12, Wayne decided to withdraw as partner of the company. His withdrawal from the company was documented by a County of Santa Clara as an amendment to the contract. Wayne received $800 for his withdrawal and he received another payment of $1,500 later on.

The consigner bought the Apple documents in the mid-1990s from a manuscript dealer than acquired them from Wayne. ?It was right before Jobs rejoined Apple,? said Austin. ?At the time, everyone thought that Apple was pretty much finished.?

The owner is selling the documents due to the worldwide news coverage of Steve Jobs’ death. If Wayne kept his stake in Apple, it would be worth $2.6 billion today. Wayne wrote two books called “Adventures of an Apple Founder” and “Insolence of Office: Socio-Politics, Socio-Economics and the American Republic
.” He is currently semi-retired in Nevada.