Novell Stockholders Accept Merger With Attachmate

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-02-17 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Attachmate will spend $2.2 billion in cash, or $6.10 per share, for Waltham, Mass.-based Novell, which has been beset by financial problems for several years.

Stockholders of networking and middleware provider Novell voted at a special meeting Feb. 17 to accept the merger agreement made Nov. 21, 2010, with Attachmate Corp. and Longview Software Acquisition Corp.

Attachmate Corp. will spend $2.2 billion in cash, or $6.10 per share, for Waltham, Mass.-based Novell, which has been beset by financial problems for several years.

Thirty-year-old Attachmate, which has about 65,000 customers, is an IT host connectivity and systems/security management integrator that has offices on six continents and is headquartered in Seattle. It is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo.

At the time of the acquisition announcement, Novell also said it will sell some of its intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft, for $450 million in cash.  This payment will be contained in the amount to be paid by Attachmate, Novell said.

Novell did not specify which assets Microsoft will get, but senior IT analyst Katherine Egbert of Jefferies & Co. said in November that they are "most likely related to WordPerfect, which Novell acquired in the late 1990s, and through which Novell had sued Microsoft for anti-competitive behavior.

"Recall that Microsoft had settled outstanding litigation with Novell related to Unix in 2006, paying what amounted to [about] $350 million to Novell over several years," Egbert said.

The WordPerfect product line was sold twice, first to Novell in June 1994, which then sold it to Corel in January 1996. However, Novell kept the WordPerfect Office technology, incorporating it into its GroupWise messaging and collaboration product.

The longtime rumor that Novell was planning to sell its Linux server business to VMware in a separate deal turned out not to be true. Attachmate, however, said it plans to break out Novell's enterprise Linux business, SUSE, into a separate business unit and join both Novell and SUSE with its other holdings, which include NetIQ.

"The $6.10 per share acquisition price appears to be a reasonable takeout value," Egbert said. "It values NOVL shares at 2.7x EV/revenue and 25x forward earnings. The sale of SUSE Linux by Novell to Attachmate is also a mild positive for Red Hat."

 


 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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