Apple could be stepping up its acquisition strategy as it aims to move beyond the iPhone, elevating Adrian Perica to head up mergers and acquisitions.
Perica is already in charge of M&A at the Cupertino, California tech giant, with Bloomberg reporting he played a key role in Apple’s 2014 acquisitions of Beats and its investment in Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing startup. But he’s getting a new title, vice president of corporate development, and a direct line to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook. It is a step up for Perica, given Luca Meastri, Apple’s chief financial officer, had been in charge of mergers and acquisitions for Apple, the news outlet noted.
The move comes as Apple is facing calls from Wall Street to go after bigger targets when it comes to its mergers and acquisitions strategy. That’s not to say Apple hasn’t been acquisitive. They just haven’t been large deals. According to the report, Apple acquired 18 companies in 2018 but none of them were more than $1 billion. Dan Ives, a Wedbush Securities analyst, told Bloomberg Cook is aware that Apple needs to step up its game when it comes to buys. The Wall Street analyst thinks Apple will purchase a media company in 2019. Ives said in the report Apple could spend as much as $100 billion on mergers and acquisition in the coming years.
Apple has been branching into new areas, placing a greater emphasis on services and businesses outside the iPhone as sales of the device begin to slow. Apple has been hard hit in China, forced to cut prices on its iPhones as consumers shun them for local models. It also resulted in the company posting a fourth-quarter miss.
One area Apple is trying to make a splash in is payments. Late last month it announced the Apple Card, which will be available in the summer. The no-fee credit card gives customers 2 percent back when using Apple Pay and 1 percent back with a physical card. Users apply through their iPhone and get near instant approval.