Attachmate Buys Novell for $2.2 billion

After two straight years of losses, software company Novell has agreed to be bought by software and IT solutions company Attachmate for $2.2 billion. Because Attachmate is owned by private equity, that essentially puts Novell into PE hands, too. BusinessWeek reports:

Besides Linux, Novell’s business units include identity and security management, systems and resource management, and workload-management products and its GroupWise e-mail system.

Novell has reported eight quarters of revenue declines and the company, which competes with Oracle Corp. and BMC Software Inc., has said last year’s recession hurt customer orders. The company, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, had $1.04 billion in cash and short-term investments at the end of the third quarter.

Novell investors will get $6.10 a share, Attachmate, a software company owned by private-equity firms including Golden Gate Capital Corp., said today in a statement. That’s 9.1 percent more than Novell’s closing price on Nov. 19. Novell will also sell some intellectual-property assets to a group of technology companies led by Microsoft Corp. for $450 million.

This small win for Novell stockholders is also a relief for Novell’s customers, who have been wavering in the face of company uncertainty for some time. With Novell’s rich history and tech heritage, I hope that Attachmate keeps the brand’s name and identity intact.