SCO Plans To Auction Off Some Assets

The auction is considered to be a significant step for SCO in its aim to emerge from bankruptcy. SCO noted that several investment firms have expressed interest in the auction.

The Unix software vendor hopes to secure SCO additional operating funds and investment in its OpenServer product line as well as its Mobility Assets mobile business through the public auction.

"We believe that with this approach, it will maximize customer and shareholder value and expedite the investor process," said Jeff Hunsaker, president and COO of SCO operations, in a statement. "One goal of this approach is to separate the legal defense of our intellectual property rights from our core product business. The auction process is expected to ensure that the future revenue from the OpenServer and mobile businesses stays with those assets and provides an uninterrupted path forward for our customers, products and employees."

If unsold, SCO will continue to sell and support its Unix and mobile products and services including UnixWare, OpenServer, SCO Mobile Server and some mobile applications. The company has said it will also proceed with unspecified cost-cutting measures and pricing and licensing options. Despite the bankruptcy proceedings, the vendor is expected to ship SCO Unix Virtual product lines for VMware and Hyper-V, which let SCO legacy applications run on modern hardware. Also in the pipeline are FCmobilelife and FCtasks for the iPhone.

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SCO's 2007 bankruptcy filing came after a court rejected its copyright claims over the Unix operating system, instead finding that Novell, not SCO, was the rightful owner of the Unix code. In March 2008, Stephen Norris Capital Partners committed to provide up to $100 million to finance the reorganization plan and to take the company private. But more bad news came for SCO in July, when a court ruled that SCO profited unjustly through its 2003 licensing agreement with Sun Microsystems and owed Novell $2,547,817.

The plan is subject to bankruptcy court approval; a hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25.