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05.19.10

Novell Might be Sold This Month

Posted in Finance, Novell at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell is looking for buyers and takeover bids may be imminent

WE are only days away from this Web site’s 10,000th blog post and we are also days away from Novell’s latest results, which would make or break the company.

An immoral hedge fund tried buying Novell just days after the company’s previous results came out, having previously bought the minimum stake that’s required from any company/shareholder in this position. We wrote about how the hedge fund had prepared the bid for Novell in the earlier posts among the following bunch:

Reuters says that Novell is up for sale and several days ago we noticed that Paulson’s Paulson & Co (a hedge fund) bought a lot of Novell shares.

# New 25 million share stake in Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL)

This was also covered here:

Paulson has also bought 4 million shares in Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD), 3.67 million shares of Dex One Corp. (DEXO), 3.30 million shares in Devon Energy Corp. (DVN), 6 million shares in Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO), 40 million shares of MGM Mirage (MGM), 11.37 million shares in Mylan, Inc. (MYL), 25 million shares in Novell Inc. (NOVL) during the March quarter.

Later on this was mentioned very briefly [1, 2] and then we found an article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), whose headline says “Bids for Novell Expected This Week”:

Novell Inc., which has put itself on the block, plans to accept bids from potential acquirers this week, people familiar with the matter say, kicking off a process that will likely result in a sale of the software company.

This article was co-written by Ben Worthen, a longtime Microsoft booster whom we named some years ago for his ardent, one-sided positions. Novell’s stock is very active right now (people buy and sell in preparation for the results) and the New York Times stated shortly after the WSJ that “Novell Set to Consider Takeover Bids From Suitors”

Novell’s shares rose on Wednesday on hopes that a deal for the company might be near.

So Novell is not so passive anymore. It seems to be open for bidding. “Novell Set For Higher Buyout Price,” says one investments site.

Novell Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) is trading higher today on hopes that a higher buyout offer will be heading its way. There is at least some caution despite the notion that the company is and has been a niche play that would be an interesting fit for many companies, but almost all indicators signal that a higher price may be headed the way of Novell.

The Register cites the Wall Street Journal and New York Times when it claims that “Novell seeks rich suitors”

It looks like Novell has formally put itself up for sale after rejecting the entreaties of a hedge fund two months ago.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal and confirmed by a separate report from the New York Times, Novell had asked for suitors looking to eat the company to put in initial bids by the end of this week. The Journal report says that Novell’s board would then play The Dating Game, selecting some of the bidders and asking them to give their final offers at some future date.

Last week we argued that Novell had struck no major deals or contracts, so its results won’t be amazing enough to convince shareholders that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It seems highly likely that Novell will be sold soon. What would happen to SUSE, the SCO case, and UNIX ownership if Novell got sold (as a whole or in pieces)?

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