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Novell may be sold soon, but to whom?


The New York Post is not exactly where I look for business or Linux news, but it seems they’re on to something. In a September 15th story, the Post reported that “Novell Inc. has reached a deal in principle to sell itself in two parts, and is three to four weeks away from signing a deal.” My sources are saying the same thing.

I wish I had more to report, but I don’t. The deal seems to be that a technology company will pick up SUSE Linux; its open-source community and its distribution, openSUSE; and their associated technologies like Mono, the open-source adaptation of Microsoft’s .NET. The rest will go to a private-equity company.

Officially, Novell has told me “No comment.” Off-the-record, all I’ve got is that there are deals in the works, but that’s not much. Novell has been working on finding a buyer since at least May.

Whatever the merger and acquisition agreements end up being, I’m sure it will be for more than the $2-billion bargain-basement price offered by Elliott Associates in March of this year for Novell. That said it’s still possible that Elliott Associates may be the private equity firm in on the deal.

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