Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

Summary: Observers say the dust hasn't settled on the so called Attachmate-Novell merger --and that Novell's Linux business may still be up for sale.Attachmate is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo.

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Observers say the dust hasn't settled on the so called Attachmate-Novell merger --and that Novell's Linux business may still be up for sale.

Attachmate is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo.

"It's not Attachmate buying Novell. It's really a private equity deal to buy Novell ... clean it up, combine it with Attachmate and NetIQ as a $1 billion company which then can be sold or taken public," said Ira Cohen, managing director at Signal Hill Updata, of New York, NY, a banker who has had dealings with Novell in the past.

After the announcement of the deal Monday, Attachmate said it would run the company as two business units: Novell and SUSE.

The private equity firm behind the Attachmate-Novell deal would likely see more interest from would-be buyers now that Novell's business is piecemeal and the Linux business is separate from Novell's multi-faceted product line.

"The Linux business is up in the air. That piece of Novell's business could be sold. It's a possibility," said Cohen. It's too early to predict but the private equity backers have deep pockets."

Novell has owned SUSE for more than five years but has failed to grow its Linux revenue base substantially, observers note. The Waltham, Mass. company has been rumored for sale numerous times over the past decade and has been officially on the block since spring. VMware was cited as a potential buyer in recent months.

It is difficult to envision Attachmate taking on Red Hat, Canonical Microsoft and Oracle in the platforms market.

Topics: Operating Systems, Banking, Linux, Open Source, Software

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  • RE: Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

    I've tried many versions of Linux, but SuSE is my favourite. I hope that it continues to flourish.
    Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • RE: Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

    [i]"Novell has owned SUSE for more than five years but has failed to grow its Linux revenue base substantially"[/i]

    Forgive me my ignorance, but in order to increase Suse's revenue base substantially, wouldn't Novell have to sell lots more licenses? At $324 per 3-year Enterprise Desktop license, that would make the "free" Suse Enterprise Desktop Linux more expensive (by a considerable margin) than Windows 7 Enterprise.

    And $800 per year for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server makes SUSE a great deal more expensive than Windows Server 2008.

    Hmmm. I wonder if there's a reason Novell was unable to dramatically increase sales of SUSE.
    bitcrazed
    • RE: Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

      @bitcrazed per year costs

      Where in the world did you come up with those numbers? On our MLA with Novell we pay a subscription cost per user for our servers. The cost is the same whether we have 1 server or 7 servers.
      boomchuck1
  • RE: Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

    Hey M$ can always buy it. And then kill it off.

    End of story.
    ahh so
  • SUSE will likely be sold off

    Attachmate and NetIQ seem to me totally Windows biz. So parts of Novell would fit but what would they want with SUSE ? I'm guessing SUSE will be sold and Open Enterprise Server (SUSE with Netware compat layers) will be dissed. Maybe VMware or Oracle will buy it. Apparently the Novell comp identitiy will survive with the unix copyrights attached.
    mad-man
  • RE: Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

    Very unsettling to see Microsoft this close to taking the IP for UNIX, but the horses are already out of the barn on Linux, so not much harm can be done--unless you've got patent violation issues in your applications' code. But the Linux community has moved on, UNIX is dead.

    But the sale with MSFT in the mix--tt's somewhat fitting as the final death throws of UNIX to be consumed by Microsoft, what with the UNIX community ultimately forcing Linux into existence because of the UNIX community missing the sea change that Microsoft brought with NT. Had the UNIX community been more reasonable on multi-user licensing costs, Linux would have nevef been born. Linux is somewhat the UNIX phoenix, rising from the ashes of UNIX.

    SuSE should be reborn as a Debian variant, and shake off its RPM roots, so that it doesn't have to stay in the shadow of RHEL for the rest of its sad life under Novell. Novell gave it the kiss of death, bringing almost no innovation to SuSE, just rearranging the components. YaST is open source, so there's nothing stopping anyone from bringing SuSE into the Debian community and giving it a new lease on life. Good luck to SuSE, the only thing worth taking from the sale.
    PushButtonChimp
  • RE: Is Novell's Linux business still up for sale?

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