Apple's biggest acquisition deal yet is reportedly done. Apple has acquired Israel-based flash memory maker Anobit, according to a report.
Anobit told employees today that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) had made an offer for the firm and it had accepted. Employees were told that once the deal is formally completed they will be employees of Apple, according to Israel's Calcalist.
The deal is reportedly for nearly $500 million, which makes it Apple's largest acquisition. It is also the first acquisition in Israel for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.
Apple wanted Anobit for the company's technology to increase and enhance the memory volume and performance of its devices, including the world's most popular smartphone, the iPhone, and the world's most popular tablet, the iPad. Anobit has about 200 employees. Anobit was founded by Professor Ehud Weinstein, Ariel Maislos and Ofir Shalvi.
Issues with battery charge have plagued Apple's iPhone in the past, and the company recently released a software update to address the problem. Anobit's technology, which could help with that, could also as much as double memory volume in new iPad tablets and MacBook computers, according to the report.
Apple is expected to keep Anobit's employees in Israel. The company may even open a research and development center in Israel, hiring more employees, according to Calcalist.
Apple co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs, who died earlier this year, had previously hinted that Apple was keeping a cash hoard of more than $80 billion, in part to make timely and important acquisitions.
Anobit was founded in 2006, and the company has raised $76 million in capital from Battery Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital and Intel Capital. Anobit's clients include Korean-based Samsung and Hynix, according to Calcalist. Hynix is the leading flash memory supplier for Apple's iPhone 4S, its newest iPhone.
Already, Anobit's flash memory technology is already used in Apple iPhone, iPad and MacBook air. CNET reports that Apple's decision to acquire the company might have to do with its desire to increase margins, since it'll now get its memory at cost, rather than be forced to pay a premium to a third-party.
Apple's stock is up 1.7 percent in trading on Tuesday, or $6.64, to $388.85.