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 13/2/2016: Debian 6.0 EOL

    Links for the day



  2. The European Patent Office, Aloof/Apathetic to Inventors and Human Rights, Simply Cannot be Trusted With the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The European Patent Office (EPO), once a source of great pride for increasingly-unified Europeans, not only wants to enjoy impunity but also wants to attain new powers, despite demonstrating that its interests are anything but European and are often detrimental to Europeans, not just to European inventors



  3. Feedback About Battistelli's 'Meet the President' Event in Rijswijk (4th of February, 2016)

    President of the EPO, the self-absorbed Battistelli, as described by those who attended his self-glorification event earlier this month



  4. Microsoft Continua Usando Patentes de Software para Extorsionar/Chantajear Incluso Más Compañías que Usan Linux, Forzandolas/Coerciendoles a PreInstallar Basura de Microsoft

    Acer es el último gran OEM que se ha convertido en la caza de brujas por parte de Microsoft contra preinstalladores de Android/Linux, a quienes esta coerciendo en convertirse en transportistas de Microsoft (o enfrentarse a litigaciones sobre patentes de software, con altos costos legales sino bloqueos con altísimos costos por arreglos secretos).



  5. Nuevas Protestas Contra La Vil OEP en Medio de Crisis Nerviosa de su Empleado Español (Después del Matoneo Institucional de Los Chacales de Battistelli), España Rechaza la Patente Unitaria UPC

    Enfrentando enorme presión de no-tecnicos Eurocráticos como Battistelli, España permanece FUERTE y RESISTE la Corte Unitaria de Patentes (UPC), que pone más poder en las manos de un cuerpo ABUSIVO que grotescamente discrimina contra los Españoles.



  6. Sólo Media Docena de Patentes Cubana Registradas en la OEP, Pero el Trístemente Célebre Battistelli Va a Cuba a Acumular Apoyo Baráto

    Ahora que España esta antagonizando a la OEP (y especialmente la UPC) el Presidente de la OEP ayuda a crear piezas de hojaldre en español cuando visitó Cuba y sus vecinos hispano-hablanetes que históricamente son renombrados por su gobernabilidad desaparecida así como su ilegalidad (como la OEP misma)



  7. In Lawyerland, Simulated UPC 'Trials' and More Extraordinary EPO Propaganda for Change That Would Harm Europe to Help Patent Lawyers and Their Big Clients

    A look at the latest wave of lobbying for the Unitary Patent Court (UPC), courtesy of patent lawyers who profit from patent disputes, and the utterly shameless marketing from the European Patent Office (EPO)



  8. Apple and Microsoft Cannot Keep Up With Android (Linux), More Layoffs Reported

    Having failed to grow (in the operating systems market share sense), proprietary software giants lose loyalty, try to attack the winner (Android/Linux) with software patents, and inevitably make their staff redundant



  9. Links 12/2/2016: Russian's Government With GNU/Linux, India's Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  10. New EPO Protests Amid Nervous Breakdowns of Spanish EPO Employee (After Institutional Bullying by Battistelli's Goons), Spain Rejects the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    In the face of enormous pressure from non-technical Eurocrats like Battistelli, Spain remains strong and resists the Unitary Patent Court (UPC), which puts more power in the hands of an abusive body that grossly discriminates against Spaniards



  11. Only Half a Dozen Cuban Patents Filed at EPO, But Hugely Unpopular Battistelli Goes to Cuba to Garner Cheap Support

    Now that Spain is antagonising the EPO (and especially the UPC) the President of the EPO helps create some puff pieces in Spanish as he visits Cuba and neighbouring Spanish-speaking nations which are historically renowned for defunct governance and lawlessness (like the EPO itself)



  12. Nepotismo de la UPC, Abusos Políticos, y el Envolvimiento en la UPC de la Firma ¨Legal¨ que la OEP Contrato para Matonear a Techrights

    La Corte Unitaria de Patentes UPC, un sistema arregaldo esta siendo embestida por la gargant de Europa por la OEP. (Nos están metiendo la yuca). Sus grandes clientes (incluso extranjeros), con sus abogados de patentes para que todo el mundo los vea.



  13. Miembro del Parlamente Europe Resalta ¨Las Continuas Violaciones de los Fundamentales Derechos de los Empleados de la OEP¨

    Pregunta a la Comisión Europea de parte de la MEP Portuguesa Ana Gomes, publicado en el sitio del Parlamente Europeo.



  14. Links 11/2/2016: LibreOffice 5.1, HMRC and FOSS

    Links for the day



  15. Microsoft Continues to Use Software Patents to Extort/Blackmail Even More Companies That Use Linux, Forcing/Coercing Them Into Preinstalling Microsoft

    Acer is the latest large OEM to have become a victim of Microsoft's witch-hunt against Android/Linux preloaders, whom Microsoft is coercing into becoming Microsoft's carriers (or face litigation over software patents, with high legal fees if not injunctions or high damages upon secret settlements)



  16. EPO Brain Drain (Even Directors Fed Up With Team Battistelli) and Rumours About Battistelli Becoming President of the UPC

    Words heard through the grapevine of the European Patent Office (EPO), where staff is overwhelmingly against the managers and some people, including high-profile staff, add to the exodus



  17. More Than 20 Years in the Line: European Patent Office and Claims of European Convention on Human Rights Infringement Against Applicants/Stakeholders

    Gross incompetence and potentially an infringement of the European Convention on Human Rights at the European Patent Office (EPO), this time impacting an applicant (one of many in a similar position)



  18. UPC Nepotism, Political Abuses, and UPC Involvement From the Legal Firm That EPO Hired to Bully Techrights

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC), a rigged system that is being rammed down Europe's throat by the EPO, its big clients (even foreign), and their patent lawyers laid bear for people to see



  19. Member of European Parliament Brings Up “Ongoing Violations of the Fundamental and Employment Rights of the Staff of EPO”

    Question to the European Commission from Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes, as published in the site of the European Parliament



  20. La Oficina Europea de Patentes Pretende que No Pasa Nada y Prepara una Feria de Vanidad

    La estrategia de relaciones públicas de la OEP cuya destructiva estrategia de patentes continua sin disminución (por ahora), se engancha en Colombia y se esfuerza en manufacturar el mito donde el público, examinadores de patentes, y aplicantes de patentes todos estan muy felices con la OEP.



  21. La ‘Internacional’ Commisión de Comercio Impone/Reenfuerza Patentes de Software para Establecer Otro Embargo

    La Comisión Internacional (sic) de Comercio se esta entrometiendo en competición de nuevo permitiendo a un gigante de los Estados Unidos Ciso en este caso, a potencialmente bloquear rivales (no importaciones del extranjero) usando patentes de software.



  22. Links 9/2/2016: Linux in Robotics, Hyperledger Project

    Links for the day



  23. Besieged Benoît Battistelli Mimics 'Damage Control' Tactics of FIFA or Blatter as More Judges Start Getting Involved in EPO Scandals

    Rumours and a new rant from Battistelli reinforce suspicions that actions are being organised behind the scenes, possibly as part of an upcoming, high-level campaign to unseat/dethrone Battistelli, who has become a reputational disaster to the European Patent Office (EPO), much like Sepp Blatter at FIFA



  24. Several Political Parties Directly Challenge the European Patent Office for Ignoring the Law, Not Obeying Court Orders

    Politicians make it crystal clear that the EPO, despite its unique status, cannot just raise its nose at the rulings of courts of law, definitely not in Dutch territory where the EPO operates



  25. Even the Legal Community is Upset at Benoît Battistelli for the Damage He Did to the EPO

    A recent article from lawyers' media (in German) speaks of the great damage (or mess) left by its current president, who has become somewhat of a laughing stock and growingly synonymous with farcical trials even in the circles of stakeholders, not just his own staff



  26. EPO Union (SUEPO) Getting Busted: “More and More People are Joining the Union, but Fewer and Fewer People Dare to Take on Leading Positions There.”

    The union-busting actions taken by EPO management in collaboration with Control Risks (for weak accusations against staff representatives) and FTI Consulting (for 'damage control') as described in a recent article, in the words of SUEPO lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld



  27. Microsoft's Copyrights- and Patents-Based Attacks on GNU/Linux Carry on

    The SCO case is still going on and Microsoft has just signed a patent deal with GoPro over its FOSS-based software, relating to “certain file storage and other system technologies”



  28. The EPO's Benoît Battistelli is the Dictator Who Can No Longer Dictate Like He Used to

    The European Patent Office's mechanism of oversight is starting to work just a little because, based on a new report from Juve, Battistelli is now reluctant to make proposals that would prove unpopular among delegates



  29. La Más Detallada Explicación (hasta ahora) de ¿Qué esta mal con la OEP?

    La insistencia de la OEP que permanece arriba de la ley no sólo est bajo fuego en los medios pero también esta siendo desafiada basado en personas familiares con la aplicabilidad de la ley a organizaciones internacionales.



  30. Links 8/2/2016: Vista 10 Nags Help GNU/Linux, Nautilus Updated

    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