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22 November 2010, 15:40

Novell acquired by Attachmate

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Novell has announced that it has agreed to a merger proposition from the Attachmate Corporation, an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo, for $2.2 billion (£1.25 billion). The company also confirmed that it will also be selling certain, as yet undisclosed, IP assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium organised by the Microsoft Corporation for $450 million (£282 million) in cash.

Attachmate says that it plans to operate Novell as two business units: Novel and SUSE and to join these with Attachmate and NetIQ, its other holdings. The completion of the acquisition is still subject to the usual regulatory conditions and to the approval of the stockholders.

Novell President and CEO Ron Hovsepian said of the merger, "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".

Discussing the news, Attachmate Corporation Chairman and CEO Jeff Hawn said, "... The addition of Novell to our Attachmate and NetIQ businesses will enhance the spectrum of solutions we can offer to customers. We fully support Novell's commitment to its customers and we look forward to continuing to invest for the benefit of Novell's customers and partners".

The news of the acquisition comes nearly two months after reported acquisition delays over legacy assets. During the past year, a number of private equity firms were expected to bid for Novell's non-Linux business, which includes the Netware and identity management units, but were apparently unwilling to pay the price Novell was asking. There had been a number of further rejected bids for Novell in its entirety since it rejected a unsolicited $2Bn bid from the Elliot Associates hedge fund and said it was considering its options.

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