Update: Will Novell Sell Before BrainShare?
Novell’s board of directors is facing a pair of symbolic deadlines: The VAR Guy thinks Novell will need to somehow address the pending private equity takeover bid by Elliott Associates before the BrainShare conference starts March 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah and before Red Hat announces quarterly results on March 24. Here’s why.
First, a little background. As you may recall: Novell’s board is currently evaluating an unsolicited takeover bid from Elliott Associates. The bid values Novell at about $2 billion, and The VAR Guy has openly wondered if third-party technology companies — everyone from Microsoft to Oracle — will jump into the bidding process.
Regardless, our resident blogger thinks Novell’s board will need to offer an update on the Elliott Associates bid on or before March 21. The reason: Thousands of Novell customers and partners are expected to attend the Novell BrainShare conference, which runs March 21 through 25 in Salt Lake City.
The Red Hat Factor
Also of note: Red Hat (Novell’s chief rival) is set to announce financial results on March 24. Those Red Hat results could help Wall Street to further evaluate Novell’s relative valuation and health with SUSE Linux.
Back to BrainShare
But let’s switch back to the BrainShare discussion. During the conference, attendees and the press (and persistent anonymous bloggers) won’t be able to avoid the temptation to ask — over and over again — Novell’s ownership status, which ultimately influences the future of SUSE Linux and Novell’s other products.
At the least: Watch for Novell’s board to offer an update on the Elliott Associates bid within the next few days. The result could be a company sale or an outright rejection of Elliot Associates’ offer. Either way, Novell needs to provide an update before BrainShare starts. Without that update, Novell’s ownership status could become a distracting topic during the conference.