Feeds

Hedge fund suitor denies Novell asset sale rumors

Elliott wants it all - especially the cash

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

As the week was ending, rumors were swirling that the hedge fund suitor of Novell, Elliott Associates, which last week offered $1bn net of cash to take over the perennially struggling software maker, was going to start selling off its target's assets if it clinches a deal.

This may mean the NetWare operating system biz, and maybe even the SUSE Linux biz, should it prevail in its desires. Elliott put out a statement this morning denying the rumors.

Elliott has dabbled (sometimes unsuccessfully) in takeovers in the tech field but clearly wants to do a big deal. Last Tuesday after the market closed the company said it has been buying up Novell shares since January and had an 8.5 per cent stake in the company and wanted the rest of it, including the $991.3m in cash Novell is sitting on. Elliott offered $5.75 a share for Novell, which closed that day at $4.75 a pop, and when you take out the value of the Novell cash pile and the stake Elliott already has, the hedge fund is trying to get Novell for around $940m.

Thus far, all that Novell's top brass have said about the offer is that they are mulling it over, perhaps awaiting a bidding war with IBM, Oracle, Citrix Systems, SAP or Hewlett-Packard to come in and offer more. The best fit might be SAP, oddly enough, which will need a stack of systems software to compete with Oracle.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that, according to sources familiar with Elliott's plans, the hedge fund would try to repatriate $400m of that cash hoard that is held overseas and that it might try to find a buyer for Novell's "open source operating system". Bloomberg went on to say that Novell's board of directors would meet next week to talk over the proposed takeover. Other rumors have since popped up that Elliott might sell off the NetWare operating system business, which is most definitely not open source.

In response to the Bloomberg story, Elliott put out a statement two hours after the market closed denying the rumors. "The story that Bloomberg ran today was inaccurate. Elliott has made no statement with respect to its intent regarding Novell. Elliott wants to own the company. Elliott has no plans to sell any business units and to report anything else would be erroneous."

As El Reg goes to press, Novell's shares are trading at $5.85, after setting a year-high of $6.15 on March 3. It will be interesting to see if anyone else wants Novell, and if they might be willing to pay a higher premium for it. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.