updated 11:50 am EDT, Tue August 9, 2011
Search in progress for new owners
Quark, the developer of QuarkXPress, has been bought out by a private equity firm called Platinum Equity. While the latter is known to specialize in mergers and acquisitions, few other details on the transaction have been made public. What has been disclosed is that Platinum is already working to transition Quark to new ownership.
Who might take control of Quark is unclear. The company is focused exclusively around publishing software; its chief rival is Adobe, which produces competing software such as InDesign and the rest of the Creative Suite. One possible candidate for a new owner is Apple, which could rebrand Quark, or mimic what it did with FileMaker and maintain an illusion that the brand is still separate.
Owning Quark would also allow Apple to reduce its dependence on Adobe, since the Creative Suite is a major draw to the Mac platform, even though more emphasis has been placed on the Windows version in recent years. QuarkXPress 9 is furthermore designed with publishing to the iPad and other tablets as a central feature, which would allow Apple to market a standard tool for the App Store and iOS 5's Newsstand. Quark advertises that no programming skills are needed for its iPad app tools.