Novell sells itself, flogs intellectual property to Microsoft

IT has-been Novell has agreed to walk the plank and let itself be acquired by Attachmate Corporation, which in turn belongs to an investment group comprised of Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo.

Attachmate will acquire all outstanding shares for $6.10, suggesting Novell is worth $2.2 billion and perhaps a taco and a pack of Doritos. Elliott Associates L.P. had previously offered to buy all of Novell’s shares for $5.75 right back at the beginning of March.

The really juicy bit is that Novell said it will also sell “certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organised by Microsoft Corporation.” CPTN Holdings will shell out $450 million in cash for all the nice IP stuff.

It can be presumed Microsoft, sorry, CPTN Holdings will only have the best in mind for the entire world. Novell riled the FOSS (Free Open Source Software) community for years and a few days ago when it struck a patent agreement with Microsoft over SUSE Linux, amongst other things.

“Attachmate Corporation plans to operate Novell as two business units: Novell and SUSE; and will join them with its other holdings, Attachmate and NetIQ,” said the company. The respective CEOs of both entities went on to say how wonderful and pleasing the deal is and what a great track record Novell has.

It may turn out the fallout of this deal will be very interesting to observe. Developer Fusion, for example, wonders what will happen to Mono, .net running on Linux platforms. It seems no one knows.