Third time’s the charm!

September 29, 2003

So far, it’s taken 3 times for Handspring (HAND) to get its 10-K filing right. On Friday, HAND filed two different ammended Ks — one at 5 a.m. and a second at just after 3 p.m. But it was only the latter version which explained that the reason for the do-over was an SEC review of merger partner Palm’s (PALM) filings on the proposed merger. It’s not really clear what PALM was required to change in the filing at the behest of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. Unlike Handspring, it didn’t provide an explanation and at over 600 pages, it’s a bit long to compare the two side by side. Shareholders at both companies are set to vote on the merger on Oct. 28. As for HAND, it seems like the SEC wanted the company to be a bit more specific on its real estate dealings for its corporate campus in Sunnyvale. The company had been on the hook for $350 million to the developers for buildings that Handspring no longer needed because of a massive downturn in its business. Instead, the company notes in the ammended K that it had to ante up $61.2 million to get out of the deal, including $20 million in cash that it had to borrow from PALM. The whole thing sounds strangely similar to what happened to Inktomi last year. Like Handspring, Inktomi made a bad bet on Silcon Valley real estate and wound up having to turn to Yahoo (YHOO) for a bail-out.

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