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Report: Novell Company Sale Hits Tricky IssueReport: Novell Company Sale Hits Tricky Issue

More rumors about Novell's potential two-part company sale have surfaced. Reuters says there are plenty of potential suitors for Novell's SUSE Linux business. But when it comes to Novell's other assets, private equity firms apparently aren't willing to pay Novell's asking price for NetWare and identity management assets. Here's the update on Novell's potential two-part sale.

The VAR Guy

September 23, 2010

2 Min Read
Report: Novell Company Sale Hits Tricky Issue

More rumors about Novell’s potential two-part company sale have surfaced. Reuters says there are plenty of potential suitors for Novell’s SUSE Linux business. But when it comes to Novell’s other assets, private equity firms apparently aren’t willing to pay Novell’s asking price for NetWare and identity management assets. Here’s the update on Novell’s potential two-part sale.

In recent weeks, published reports suggested that VMware was set to acquire Novell’s SUSE Linux business. Also, some reports stated, a private equity firm and/or Attachmate was expected to acquire Novell’s other businesses — including NetWare and identity management and security. But by Sept. 16, Gigaom reported that Novell’s patent valuations were delaying Novell’s sale process.

On Sept. 23, Reuters reported:

“private equity firms, the natural buyers for its NetWare and identity management units, are so far unwilling to pay the price the software company wants, the sources said. That has slowed a now-six month process, which has gone through multiple rounds of bids. Two of the sources said it was unclear when final bids would be submitted.”

The Reuters report mentioned several private equity firms that apparently are interested in the company’s assets.

Remaining On Message

Despite Wall Street speculation about Novell’s ownership status, the company remains on-message with its latest initiatives — many of which involve the cloud, virtualization and intelligent workload management (branded under WorkloadIQ). Recent moves have included:

Still, some customers are delaying Novell software purchases until Novell’s ownership status is resolved. In its most recently quarterly earnings statement, Novell conceded that revenues were a bit soft because of “uncertainty associated with the Novell Board of Directors’ ongoing review of various alternatives to enhance stockholder value as described in Novell’s March 20, 2010 press release.”

Translation: Novell needs to resolve its ownership status, so that customers and partners have peace of mind.

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