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Novell Still Avoids Talking With Public About Being Bought

Peek a boo

Summary: Novell BrainShare has the company's CEO, Ron Hovsepian, avoiding the subject of Elliott Associates, which still wants Novell acquired

IN the news we keep hearing about Novell spurning a buyout offer but not ruling out an acquisition in general [1, 2, 3, 4]. In fact, based on the reaction of the vulture fund, there is expectation that another buyout offer is on its way. "Novell Says 'No' but Elliot Hears 'Maybe'," says ECT.

An offer of $2 billion just wasn't enough for Novell's board of directors, which rebuffed a purchase offer from Elliot Associates. The board says it's considering other options, but Elliot says it will keep in pursuit. Novell has hinted that it would consider selling for the right price, either to Elliot or another suitor. If that comes to pass, what happens to Suse Linux?

Groklaw, which wants the SCO trial to carry on and be concluded, chooses to believe that it's over, despite the more complex reality. The VAR Guy has this short report from BrainShare:

After rejecting an unsolicited takeover bid on March 20, Novell had to communicate some quantifiable business progress during the Novell BrainShare conference this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. With that reality in mind, CEO Ron Hovsepian (pictured) and Chief Marketing Officer/Channel Chief John Dragoon offered The VAR Guy a financial and channel partner progress report on March 22. Here’s a recap.

Alas, this is longer than a simple recap.


During our discussion, CEO Hovsepian was careful not to say too much about the recent Elliott Associates bid for Novell. His standard statement: Novell will continue to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders.

If the negotiations with Elliott Associates were history, why would he avoid talking about them? Novell's CEO only made one carefully-crafted statement over the weekend. It's likely to suggest that he is keeping the door open; he does not want to speak badly about the vulture fund, maybe because he reckons that another bid will come with a different price, as expected right from the start (see the posts below).


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