EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.25.10

Novell for Sale

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Novell at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NYSE for sale

Summary: Many news reports confirm that Novell’s intention was to say that it will be sold given the right offer

EARLIER this week we showed that Novell avoids talking too much about putting itself up for sale. For those in need of some background, here are previous posts on the subject:

We have already explained the significance of this. Novell is said to have UNIX and it’s handling both SCO and Microsoft in court (WordPerfect case). SJVN, a GNU/Linux expert, is asking: “Now what, Novell?” [for brevity, we mostly quote headlines and use italics to mark them]

There’s nothing like starting a technical conference, like Novell’s BrainShare, off with a bang. Or, in this case telling Elliot Associates’ unwelcome offer of not quite $2-billion for the company that Novell has no interest in selling out, not for that little anyway.

I think this was a smart move by Novell’s management. I think if Elliot Associates were to buy Novell it would end up killing the company and its Linux distributions: SUSE Linux and openSUSE.

The Microsoft boosters from Redmond say that “Novell [is] Up for Grabs”.

Maybe Elliott Associates will get its prize after all, and maybe there’s no other vendor out there that wants to swallow Novell. That sure wouldn’t be very exciting, though. We’re hoping for an old-fashioned battle here. Let the siege begin!

It says: “Let the siege begin!”

Those boosters from the ‘Microsoft press’ think it’s just a game.

Another publication that’s always Microsoft sympathetic asks: “Too Little, Too Late For Novell?”

The news from Utah goes like this:

During the opening keynote Monday, chief executive officer and president Ron Hovsepian addressed what he called the “elephant in the room,” saying Novell’s board of directors over the weekend rejected an unsolicited bid by Elliott Associates to acquire it for roughly $2 billion.

We have already covered this. It does not contradict the many reports which say that Novell is up for sale. A blog in the New York Times says that “Elliott Welcomes Novell’s Move to Put Itself in Play”

In rejecting Elliott’s bid, Novell said Saturday that the hedge fund’s offer “undervalues the company’s franchise and growth prospects.”

Instead, Novell said its board was considering alternative ways to increase its value to its shareholders, including an outright sale of itself.

Other reports from the news say:

1. Novell Seeks Substitutes After Casting Off Elliott’s Acquisition Bid

Novell Inc. on Saturday discarded a bid by hedge fund Elliott Associates LP aimed at buying the company for about $1.8 billion, on Monday. It explained that the deal would have turned down the company’s value in the international economy, thereby hindering its growth.

However, the software company set itself on sale seeking a boost in the shareholder value.

2. Suitor says will still try to buy Novell

Elliott Associates LP said Monday it still wants to acquire Novell Inc. despite the company’s rejection of the hedge fund’s initial offer.

3. After rejecting bid, Novell open to sale

Elliott yesterday released a statement praising Novell’s willingness to consider a sale and reaffirming its offer.

Officials from Novell and Elliott declined to comment further.

4. Novell Up after Rejecting $1.8B Hedge Fund Offer, Remains on Sale

ZDNet wonders “What’s it [Novell] worth and who’s buying?”

From AP we have a report that appeared in the Boston press and also in Forbes. The headline says that Novell “explores options”.

For those who want more information about the man behind Elliott, BNET has it.

I looked at the question when reading about the bid for Novell (NOVL) by investment firm Elliott Associates. Looking into the company and its president, Paul E. Singer, I came across this map, from Muckety.com, that shows connections between Singer and a number of conservative political groups…

Readers can see the image. There is some politics in there, as we showed a couple of weeks ago.

Minyanville.com describes Singer as “riding in on its white horse” (which is extremely funny because he is a predatory vulture).

2. In any case, I was happy to see Elliott come riding in on its white horse to try to rescue what’s probably a restless shareholder base. But $5.75 a share? If I were on the Novell board I’d probably hold out for a higher number, too.

3. But keep in mind that there are risks to that. You’ll remember that hardball didn’t work so well for Yahoo (YHOO). Also it’s not like Novell is expected to blow the doors off the barn on the earnings front this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the two parties continue their mating dance in the weeks ahead, and for some sort of a deal to come to fruition.

The same site compares Novell’s behaviour to that of Yahoo!, which was hijacked after many bids and aggressive tactics that really ought to be illegal.

More coverage of this can be found in:

Novell Inc. (NOVL US): The maker of Linux operating-system software said yesterday a $5.75-a-share acquisition offer from Elliott Associates LP is “inadequate” and undervalues the company.

Blue Harbour, one of Novell’s larger shareholders, so far agrees with Novell’s action.

Clifton Robbins, CEO of the private investment firm Blue Harbour Group, which own a 4% stake in Novell, echoed Hovsipian’s message in a statement that said “the company’s value significantly exceeds Elliott’s proposal.”

Here is the official word from PRNewsWire:

“We agree with Novell’s management and Board of Directors that the company’s value significantly exceeds Elliott’s proposal. Blue Harbour has been in active and constructive discussions with Novell’s management in recent months on various alternatives to create and unlock value, and we support the company’s decision today to pursue a formal review process with the assistance of its advisors.”

Other shareholders were also supportive of Novell’s action (they probably expect Novell to sell for more money), so the stock rose as the week began. To give examples of coverage:

1. Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

Novell says no to Elliott bid. On Saturday, Novell (NOVL) rejected Elliott Associates’ $1.8B bid to take it private, calling the offer “inadequate,” and saying it “undervalues the company’s franchise and growth prospects.” Some have questioned whether Novell is really worth that much, but others say it could be worth even more considering its $1.82B in assets. Novell plans to initiate a review of alternatives, including a share buyback, cash dividend, joint ventures, recapitalization, alliances or an outright sale.

2. In The Papers 22 March

The paper also notes that US software firm Novell has rejected an unsolicited takeover offer from hedge fund Elliott Associates, calling the USD5.75 a share cash offer “inadequate”. Elliott, which owns about 8.5 percent of Novell, announced its USD2 billion offer earlier this month. Novell said its board had authorised a review of alternatives for realising value for shareholders, including share buy-backs, dividend payments, a joint venture or alliance, or the sale of the company.

3. Benzinga’s Top Pre-Market Gainers (SONS, NOVL, WSM, LGF, GENT)

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) climbed 4.96% to $5.92 in the pre-market session. Novell Inc on Saturday, March 20, 2010, rejected an unsolicited bid by hedge fund Elliott Associates LP to buy NOVL for about $1.8 billion, saying the deal undervalued Novell and its growth prospects. In the previous trading session, NOVL closed at $5.64. NOVL has surged over 36% in the last year.

4. Novell Jumps Early on Rejection of Weak Acquisition Bid (NOVL)

5. Novell Rejects Elliott Associates $5.75 Per Share Takeover Proposal (NOVL)

6. Zanett, Novell: Early Volume Plays

Novell (NOVL) jumped by 29 cents, or 5.1%, to $5.93 shortly after the opening bell Monday after the software company rejected an unsolicited bid from Elliott Associates as “inadequate.”

7. A good month for Novell Inc.; NOVL, ASIA, MFE, SYMC

8. Novell: The Trend Continues Up (NOVL) (also in Fox)

9. Novell, Inc (NOVL) Stock

10. Closing Bell: Health Care Doesn’t Kill the Bulls (C, SOMX, NOVL, PALM, T, AIG, NBG)

Novell Inc. (NOVL) rejected the Elliott private equity takeover bid as ‘inadequate’ but it is now exploring strategic alternatives and assess its options, including a potential sale. Shares were up close to 5% at $5.91 shortly before the closing bell.

11. Stocks in the News: PepsiCo, Google, Tiffany (same text here)

Novell (NOVL) shares jumped 4.8% after the company on Saturday rejected an unsolicited bid by hedge fund Elliott Associates to buy the company for about $1.8 billion, saying the deal undervalued Novell and its growth prospects.

12. The Ticker

Shares of business software maker Novell Inc. rose 5 percent after the company rebuffed a $2 billion offer over the weekend from investment fund and shareholder Elliott Associates.

13. Sector Update: Technology Shares Higher As Google Stops Censoring Chinese Search Results

Novell (NOVL) shares climbed $0.27, or almost 4.8%, to $5.91 on news over the weekend that a $2 billion buyout offer from private-equity firm Elliott Associates was “inadequate” and undervalued the company, MarketWatch reported. Elliott’s offer valued Novell’s stock at $5.75 a share. Novell’s board of directors is exploring several options, included a sale of the company, according the the report.

14. Micron, Seagate Lead Tech Stocks Higher

Novell rose 4.4 percent after the company said a takeover offer from a hedge fund is inadequate.

15. Notable Mergers and Acquisitions of the Day 03/22: ISIL/TWLL, NMM/NM, NOVL

Novell’s Board is committed to enhancing value for Novell stockholders and believes that an exploration of alternatives is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. Novell’s Board noted that there can be no assurance that this will result in any agreement or transaction. The Company does not intend to disclose developments with respect to any of these alternatives unless and until the Board has approved a specific course of action.

Here is a fascinating explanation of why Novell made the announcement on Saturday.

Take for example, the Saturday announcement by Novell rejecting an unsolicited takeover bid by Elliott Management. Novell’s news release announcing this act was issued at 11:13 a.m. on Saturday. This is unusual as these announcements typically come during the weekday, after the market opens or closes. Perhaps the Novell board met on Friday.

In such a case, was Novell’s Saturday release a mistake or a mere lack of attention to the unusual nature of this act? In the background is the question of whether Novell intentionally buried this release. Alternatively, was Novell’s board actually working so hard that it was deliberating on Saturday? In its press release, the Novell board also announced it would explore strategic alternatives for the company, including a sale.

The Saturday release may show Novell’s particular vulnerability since its shareholders can act by written consent to remove directors without cause at any time. It may also show that they are worried. And ultimately, none of this may mean much at all; it could be just a detail or a mistake, perhaps an unimportant one at that.

“It may also show that they are worried,” says the New York Times writer.

Novell’s rejection of this first bid was also mentioned in other articles such as [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]. Having looked at them, there is nothing especially interesting there, but in summary, this journey of bids for Novell has only gotten started.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Someone in Redmond just yanked Miguel’s chain and he’s made noises that have gotten attention. A lot of people are projecting what they want to hear onto his latest noise rather than reading for themselves. He’s not apologizing. He’s lamenting that he hasn’t been able to help shove Microsoft products everywhere.

    He only sounds off when Bill needs some noise, so it could be that Novell is really needing to avoid the spotlight. Or C++ and Java are getting too much praise.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Right now it’s the Ps (Python, PHP, Perl) that seem to be getting a lot of praise and especially usage. Sadly, they are often used for Fog Computing.

    M&M (Microsoft and Miguel) fight the Ps using Silver/Moon Lie and *Spark (akin to EDGI).

What Else is New


  1. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  2. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  3. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries



  4. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  5. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  6. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  7. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  8. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  9. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  10. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  11. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  12. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  13. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  14. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  15. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  16. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  17. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  18. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  20. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  21. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  22. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  24. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  25. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  26. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  27. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  28. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  29. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  30. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts