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Simon Phipps: “Seems Even With Microsoft’s Support Novell Couldn’t Cut It”

Simon Phipps in Stockholm (2007)
Photo by RightOnBrother



Summary: FOSS luminary Simon Phipps comments on the fact that Novell meets a vulture fund of Singer

"T

HE season of change is clearly upon us," says Simon Phipps, whose employer has been acquired by Oracle. "Seems even with Microsoft’s support Novell couldn’t cut it," he asserts. Phipps is of course referring to what seems like the imminent sale of Novell (not necessarily to a hedge fund). We have covered the subject in:

  1. Novell May be Going Private, Hedge Fund Has Cash
  2. Analyst Expects Microsoft Bid to Buy Novell
  3. Ron Hovsepian Receives Another Large Lump of Cash as Novell Sale Looms
  4. GNU/Linux-Savvy Writers View Elliot Associates as Bad Neighbourhood
  5. Firm Behind Novell Bid Has Shady Past, Could be Tied to Microsoft (Paul E. Singer's 'Vulture Fund')


There is an interesting new article in The Guardian, which speaks about proposed banning of "vulture funds", such as the hedge fund which made an unsolicited bid to take over Novell (and also bought debt in developing countries in order to enslave and profit from them).

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, is urging MPs to back a bill banning vulture funds from using British courts to prey on poor countries when it comes to a vote on Friday .

Liberia lost a $20m (€£13m) case in London last year against two so-called vultures. Such funds buy up the loans of poor governments, wait for them to win debt relief from the international community, and then use courts to pursue the countries for assets.

Sirleaf said: "We've been waiting for a parliament or an assembly to take this kind of hard decision. I hope the US Congress and maybe some others in Europe will pick up this gauntlet and will follow the example of Britain."

An investigation for BBC's Newsnight, to be broadcast tonight, has uncovered allegations that speculators subverted the international debt relief process for Liberia, in an attempt to gain more money from its government and international donors than 97% of its other creditors accepted.

Liberia received debt relief worth $4bn from the international community in 2007 under the heavily indebted poor countries initiative, including $2bn from private-sector bondholders. Insiders to negotiations allege that two US financiers, Eric Hermann and Michael Straus, allowed other creditors to accept a low payout from Liberia, then quietly transferred their holdings to two other firms, which then sued in Britain for the debt in full.


Here is a good video that explains how it works (previously included here).

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