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SCO Puts Unix Up For Sale

In the latest twist in the SCO saga, the embattled Unix vendor is putting its core business up for sale.

In a filing with the SEC, SCO said it had filed a motion in bankruptcy court to sell off its Unix assets.

"The company entered into an agreement whereby a purchaser intends to acquire substantially all assets used by the company in connection with its SCO Unix business and certain related claims in litigation, and to provide financing to the company," SCO's SEC filing states.

In the bankruptcy court motion, SCO identified York Capital as a potential buyer for its Unix business, indicating the firm has placed a $36 million bid. The filing also leaves the door open for other bidders should a sweeter offer appear.

"The offer is subject to the receipt of higher or better offers through a competitive sale process," SCO's court filing states. "The offer requires that an order approving the bid procedures proposed herein be approved on or before Nov. 9, 2007."

According to the filing, the acquisition would include SCO's assets, "relating to its Unix operating system, and certain related claims in litigation, as well as certain transfer, cross-license and related agreements pertaining to the Hipcheck product line and Me Inc."

SCO's Unix business is comprised of its UnixWare and OpenServer products. The HipCheck mobile business is a separate unit that deals with mobility-related solutions.

SCO has been in bankruptcy protection since mid-September when it filed for protection amid court setbacks and financial loses.

Novell, which is SCO's biggest creditor and with whom SCO was engaged in a fierce legal battle over Unix copyrights, previously claimed that it wasn't going to let SCO off the hook easily and would continue to pursue its interests.

It's unclear how a potential sale of SCO's assets might affect Novell's efforts to get paid. The company's spokespeople declined to say much on the subject.

"As this is related to ongoing litigation, Novell is not providing comment," Novell spokesperson Bruce Lowry said.