Not at all unexpectedly, one time networking powerhouse Novell is said to be entertaining offers for the company. Earlier offers turned down were a prelude to the real bidding war the company is hoping for. With the intellectual property of Unixware, and the SuSE distribution, Novell holds a lot of promise for the right buyer that will aggressively market the software.
Novell, which turned down a US$2 billion takeover bid in March, plans to start entertaining offers from other suitors this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Novell said earlier this year that it might seek a buyer, after receiving an unsolicited bid from Elliott Associates to acquire the company for $5.75 a share. In a statement in March, Novell said its board had reviewed the offer and concluded that it was "inadequate" and undervalued the company.
It also said that it would review its options, including potentially a stock repurchase program, a joint venture or a sale of the company.
Novell has now set a deadline of this week for interested parties to make their offers, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Novell may take more time to whittle down the bidders and ask for final offers.
Twenty companies have expressed an interest in Novell, most of them private equity firms, the Journal said.
Novell’s shares closed at $6.03 on Wednesday, close to the 52-week high they reached in March after Elliott’s bid.
The sad part of this is that the properties will probably be bought at a bargain price and then the company gutted.
Everyone has an opinion as to why the company has not prospered in these lean times, but my thinking is that the company simply did not effectively market what it had. SuSE is as good as any Linux distribution extant, and is probably the easiest to jump to as a Windows user. With a bit of well placed advertising the SuSE brand could have been as big as Red Hat.
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