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Novell goes into orbit around Edinburgh

Scottish software firm receives shot in the arm from Utah's finest

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Novell has made its first acquisition outside the US, gaining a minority stake in Edinburgh-based Orbital Software and in so doing, aiding the Scottish company’s distribution channel. The $1million funding from Utah-based Novell forms part of a $5.1 million investment in the company which specialises in knowledge management products. Orbital, founded in 1995 by two former academics from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, already has one of its products, Persona Server, incorporated within Novell Directory Services. The deal forms part of a four-way investment with Scottish Equity partnerships, venture capitalists 3i and NatWest’s IT fund through Novell’s Internet Equity Fund. Kevin Dorren, Orbital’s president and CEO, described the move as "a benchmark" for Novell because it was investing in a company outside the US. He said Orbital would use the cash boost to expand the sales and marketing of Orbital’s Organik PersonServer and Organik KnowledgeWare products through Novell’s UK channel. Dorren said he was unable to disclose the percentage of the company Novell had purchased, but stressed it was "only an investment for upcoming technology" and in no way related to a complete buy-out. ®

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