Novell Merger With Attachmate Completes At Last

Novell will operate under the Novell and SUSE Linux business units and brands as Attachmate merger finalises

Attachmate Group has reported that it has closed the $2.2 billion (£1.3bn) acquisition of open-source enterprise software maker Novell, a deal first announced on November 22, 2010.

Novell, whose stockholders accepted the merger in February 2011, now will operate as separate business units under the Novell and SUSE Linux brand names and join Attachmate and NetIQ as holdings of the Attachmate Group.

Patent Rulings Delayed Proceedings

The deal was delayed a few weeks in March 2011 due to the sale of 882 patents to a Microsoft-led consortium of vendors during the Attachmate acquisition process. Due diligence by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in examining each of these patents took longer than expected.

Thirty-year-old Attachmate, which has about 65,000 customers, is an IT host connectivity and systems/security management integrator that has offices on six continents and is headquartered in Seattle. It is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo.

Why is Attachmate interested in going into the open-source enterprise software business?

“Number one, this is a very attractive market, and we underscore our commitment to it by making SUSE [Linux] a standalone business unit,” Attachmate CEO Jeff Hawn told eWEEK. “In fact, the business units are now Novell, SUSE, Attachment and Net IQ.”

“The whole combination is good for us because there was a large overlap in the customer base between Attachmate/Net IQ and Novell/SUSE, and no overlap at all in the technologies. This gets us into some attractive new markets – in many cases with our existing customers.”

Hawn also pointed out that since Attachmate is a privately held company, “we don’t have to market to Wall Street”. Publicly owned open-source software companies are rare, with Red Hat being the best known and most successful.

Attachmate Group software and service products include IT operations management; open source software; end-user computing and collaboration products; host connectivity and legacy modernisation; security, identity and compliance management; virtualisation and cloud computing.