Attachmate Buys Novell

We were well aware that Novell had put itself on the market, coyly winking at passers-by, displaying its… Assets. VMware was a contender, but things have played out entirely different: Novell has been bought by Attachmate Corp., with a Microsoft-led consortium buying unspecified intellectual property from Novell.

Attachmate Corp. is owned by an investment firm led by three private equity firms (you lost me), and “enables IT organizations to extend mission critical services and assures they are managed, secure and compliant”. Whatever the heck that means. Anywho, they’re buying Novell for 2.2 billion USD. The Attachmate Corporation plans to run Novell as two business units – Novell-proper and SUSE.

At the same time, CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies led by Microsoft, bought a load of intellectual property from Novell for 450 million USD. All involved are mum on exactly what intellectual property it has bought, but Jefferies & Co. analyst Katherine Egbert believes it might be IP Novell acquired by buying WordPerfect.

“After a thorough review of a broad range of alternatives to enhance stockholder value, our Board of Directors concluded that the best available alternative was the combination of a merger with Attachmate Corporation and a sale of certain intellectual property assets to the consortium,” said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell, in a press release, “We are pleased that these transactions appropriately recognize the value of Novell’s relationships, technology and solutions, while providing our stockholders with an attractive cash premium for their investment.”

With Microsoft having a hand in this deal, let’s hope this won’t end up causing another boatload of patent lawsuits. After all, Microsoft joined the patent trolling game recently, and who knows, it might be addictive.

138 Comments

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