Though it is only one quarter the size of the company it is trying to buy, Quark Incorporated, makers of the QuarkExpress desktop publishing package, attempted to purchase Adobe Systems Inc., makers of PageMaker and Illustrator, this week. The offer was rejected by Adobe shareholders, however, because Quark didn't specify a dollar amount. In a letter to the shareholders, Quark asked them to "seriously reconsider" the offer. The news comes amid rumors that Adobe's earnings for this quarter will come in at far less than previously expected.

Tim Gill, Quark founder and chairman, says a combination of Adobe and Quark "would create considerable value and benefits through the synergies, cost-savings and cross-marketing opportunities realizable only through such a transaction."

Adobe is standing firm, however. In a brief statement issued Wednesday, the company says that offer failed to offer any "material terms that would constitute a firm and bonifide offer, including price."

Ah yes, but what a concept: Quark's annual revenues in 1997 were only $200 million, compared to over $900 million for Adobe. You have to give them credit for trying