Novell has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Attachmate for about $2.2bn (£1.4bn).
Attachmate Corp is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo. It plans to operate Novell as two business units: Novell and SUSE; and will join them with its other holdings, Attachmate and NetIQ.
In a further move, Novell has also entered into a definitive agreement for the concurrent sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings – a consortium of companies organised by Microsoft, for $450m in cash.
The move comes after Novell rejected an offer earlier this year amounting to $1bn from hedge fund Elliot Associates.
Ron Hovsepian, president and chief executive of Novell, said: “After a thorough review of a broad range of alternatives to enhance stockholder value, our board of directors concluded that the best available alternative was the combination of a merger with Attachmate Corporation and a sale of certain intellectual property assets to the consortium.”
"We are pleased that these transactions appropriately recognise the value of Novell's relationships, technology and solutions, while providing our stockholders with an attractive cash premium for their investment."
He added: "We also believe the transaction with Attachmate Corporation will deliver important benefits to Novell's customers, partners and employees by providing opportunities for building on Novell's brands, innovation and market leadership."
Jeff Hawn, chief executive of Attachmate, said: “Novell has an established record of innovation, impressive technology and brand assets, and a leading ecosystem of partnerships and talented employees.
The addition of Novell to our Attachmate and NetIQ businesses will enhance the spectrum of solutions we can offer to customers. We fully support Novell's commitment to its customers and we look forward to continuing to invest for the benefit of Novell's customers and partners."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and approval by Novell’s shareholders. But it is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.
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