RealTime IT News

Novell Soars on Takeover Offer

Add Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) shareholders to the list of those who have figured out how to earn money from open source technologies.

Novell shares soared 28 percent in after-hours trading today after institutional stockholder Elliott Associates offered to purchase the entire company for $5.75 a share in cash, or $1 billion.

A letter to Novell's board from portfolio manager Jesse Cohn said that over the last several years, Novell "has attempted to diversify away from its legacy division with a series of acquisitions and changes in strategic focus that have largely been unsuccessful. As a result, we believe the Company's stock has meaningfully underperformed all relevant indices and peers. ... we believe that Elliott is uniquely situated to deliver maximum value to the Company's stockholders on an expedited basis."

Shares of the Linux vendor closed the day at $4.75 and traded above $6 in the after market, suggesting that some traders think that Elliott's offer won't be the last.

The acquisition offer comes just a week after Novell said its Linux business is finally nearing profitability.

Competitor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), meanwhile, has turned its Linux success into membership in the S&P 500 and a $5 billion stock market valuation.