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Novell is being acquired by Attachmate in a deal valued at approximately $2.2 billion, the companies said Monday.
Novell also said it will sell "certain intellectual property assets" to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by long-time Novell rival Microsoft for $450 million.
The pending sale ends the long run of what once was a software industry heavyweight and a major channel player.
Novell and Attachmate said they expect to complete the deals in the first quarter of 2011. The acquisition by Attachmate, set at $6.10 per share, requires approval from Novell shareholders and government regulators. The sale is also contingent upon the successful sale of the intellectual property to CPTN, which is also subject to regulatory approvals.
Novell did not disclose details about the intellectual property being sold to CPTN, but there is speculation it involves patents Novell holds relating to its Linux business.
Novell, based in Waltham, Mass., has been in play since March when it rejected a buy-out offer from investment firm Elliott Associates valued at approximately $2 billion. While Novell directors said that offer undervalued the company, it's been an open secret that it has been for sale – either as a single entity or split up. There have been reports of numerous companies, including VMware, IBM and Red Hat, as well as private investment firms, making bids for Novell.
"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 Novell president and CEO Ron Hovsepian, in a statement. "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."
"We also believe the transaction with Attachmate Corporation will deliver important benefits to Novell's customers, partners and employees by providing opportunities for building on Novell's brands, innovation and market leadership," Hovsepian said.
Attachmate's Plans For Novell