Today is the last day that Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL) will exist as a publicly traded company. Trading in Novell's stock will cease at the close of business, as the company is taken private.
Novell is being acquired by privately held Attachmate in a deal that closes today. The $2.2 billion acquisition was first announced in November of 2010.
Attachmate is paying $6.10 per Novell share and will keep Novell as a wholly owned subsidiary. Novell shareholders approved the deal back in February. The final step that was required for the deal to move forward was the completion of a patent deal.
As part of the Attachmate acquisition, Novell is selling 882 patents to a group called CTPN Holdings for $450 million. CPTN is a group that includes Microsoft, Apple and EMC. The patent sales was contested by open source advocates as well as authorities in Europe. The fear was that Novell's open source patents could be used to attack open source vendors.
The other concern was about what would happen to Novell's UNIX copyrights, which were the subject of a court battle with SCO. Novell has publicly stated that Attachmate would be holding onto the UNIX copyrights.
Thanks to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Attachmate will be holding onto a lot more than just UNIX. The DoJ adjusted the CPTN patent sale in a move designed to prevent attacks against the open source ecosystem.
As part of the adjusted deal, Microsoft will be selling back to Attachmate all of the Novell patents that Microsoft would have otherwise acquired. Attachmate in turn will continue to receive a license for the use of the Novell patents.
"Novell has had many chapters in its 28-year history and today marks the start of a new, exciting chapter," John Dragoon, the Chief Marketing Office at Novell blogged. "As Novell joins forces with The Attachmate Group, the result will be a powerful portfolio of companies united by a common purpose and dedicated team."
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