VMware Is in Talks to Acquire Novell's Linux Software Unit

Novell Inc. is in advanced talks with at least two buyers, including VMware Inc., to sell the software company in separate pieces, people familiar with the matter said.

VMware is pursuing Novell’s SUSE Linux operating system business, these people said. Attachmate Corp., a private-equity backed software company, could end up buying some or all of the remaining assets, including NetWare, Novell’s network operating system. Attachmate, which is owned by buyout investors including Golden Gate Capital and Francisco Partners, sells software to companies running older IT applications.

Novell (NOVL) is most likely to sell its Linux business to VMware (VMW), although the two sides still differ on valuation, the people familiar with the matter said.

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