Attachmate Grabs Novell; Microsoft Grabs Novell Patents
After months of rumination, Novell has finally settled on a buyer, two actually. On Monday the enterprise software infrastructure provider agreed to be acquired by Attachmate for $2.2 billion and, as part of that agreement to sell off a chunk of its intellectual property to a consortium led by Microsoft for $450 million.
At $6.10 per share, cash, the deal is 9 percent premium over Novell’s Friday closing price of $5.59 and according to Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert, “a reasonable take out value.”
Interesting, though, that it took $450 million in additional cash to reach that value and that in the end it was provided by CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of tech companies organized by Microsoft. What’s CPTN getting for its money? 882 Novell patents. Just what sort of intellectual property they describe isn’t yet clear, though Egbert has an idea or two. “We believe these assets are most likely related to WordPerfect, which Novell acquired in the late 1990’s, and through which Novell had sued Microsoft for anti-competitive behavior,” she said in a note to clients. “Recall that Microsoft had settled outstanding litigation with Novell related to Unix in 2006, paying what amounted to ~$350mm to Novell over several years.”