Attachmate finalises Novell takeover

The company's $2.2bn takeover of Novell has gone through, after regulators gave their approval to the sale of Novell's patents to a consortium featuring Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle

Attachmate's $2.2bn takeover of open-source software company Novell has gone through, after gaining regulatory clearance.

According to a statement from Attachmate on Wednesday, Novell will operate as two separate businesses — Novell and Suse — alongside the Attachmate and NetIQ brands under the umbrella of The Attachmate Group.

"The Attachmate Group product families now include complementary solutions that range across IT operations management, open source, end-user computing and collaboration, host connectivity and legacy modernisation, security, identity and compliance management, virtualisation and cloud computing and more," the statement read.

The takeover was first announced in November 2010. As part of the deal, Novell is selling off 882 open-source patents — not including Novell's Unix patents — to a consortium called CPTN Holdings, which consists of Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle.

Novell's patents

This patent transfer raised the suspicions of some in the open-source software movement, who complained to regulators about it. After amending the terms of CPTN's formation and nature, the deal gained regulatory approval in the US and Germany on 20 April.

Under the amended terms, the 882 patents will be bought by CPTN and distributed among its members, who will all receive licences for all the patents — except for EMC, which is excluded from the 33 virtualisation-related patents. The patents will all have to stay under the GPLv2 and Open Invention Network (OIN) licenses, to ensure they stay open for other open-source suppliers. After three months, the consortium will disband.

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