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. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  2. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  3. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  4. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  5. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  6. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  8. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  9. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  10. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  11. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  12. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  13. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  14. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  15. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  17. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  18. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  19. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  20. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  21. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  22. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  23. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  24. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  25. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  26. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  27. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  28. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  29. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts