Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

You Still Can’t Buy Plastic Logic’s Que E-Reader. Want to Buy Plastic Logic? [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Plastic Logic investor Hermann Hauser says the company is not for sale. His statement, forwarded to me via Plastic Logic: “My comments were taken out of context. I was talking about partnerships we are working on, the value of Plastic Logic technology and its potential for the future–not a sale of the company. The Company is not for sale.”

Want to buy an e-reader from Plastic Logic? You will have to wait until “sometime this summer.” Want to buy the whole company? That’s a different story.

That’s the message U.K. investor Hermann Hauser is delivering via the Financial Times (via Engadget). Hauser, who owns a chunk of Plastic Logic via his Amadeus Capital Partners, doesn’t come out and say the company is for sale. But he spends a chunk of the story explaining why someone would be smart to take the investment off his hands.

Why would that be? Plastic Logic, after all, has been in the e-reader business for years, but has yet to actually start selling one. It finally showed off its Que Reader in January and promised delivery in April. But last month, the company told customers the Que would be delayed until summer–practically daring them to buy a competing product from Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Sony (SNE) or Barnes and Noble (BKS).

Hauser’s pitch: Plastic Logic is a technology company whose real value is the plastic chips that power the Que.

“Plastic Logic is using the simplest invention in plastic electronics, a single transistor that switches a particular pixel on or off,” says Mr Hauser. The real potential, he explains, is in creating plastic integrated circuits capable of complex functions, a feat that Plastic Logic co-founder Henning Sirringhaus has just achieved. Mr Hauser says: “Plastic electronics will spawn dozens of companies taking advantage of different aspects of integrated circuits in the same way that silicon has.”

How much is that worth? The FT helpfully suggests a buyer should pony up a multiple of the $200 million Hauser and others have bet on the company. But if that’s above your spending limit, you should be able to get a Que for less than $800 in a couple months.

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— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work