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Private-Equity Firms In Deal To Acquire Novell For $2.2 Billion

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES An investor group led by a trio of private-equity firms is acquiring software company Novell Inc. (NOVL) for about $2.2 billion, expanding the group's portfolio of products and technologies to allow it deliver solutions from information security to cloud computing. Novell also reached a deal to sell some intellectual property assets to CPTN Holding LLC, a consortium of tech companies organized by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), for $450 million. That is part of the takeover's total price tag. Attachmate Corp.--owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo--sells software to companies running older applications. Under the deal, expected to close early next year, Attachmate will pay $6.10 a share, a 9.1% premium to Friday's closing price. The stock was already up 35% this year through Friday's close as the company put itself on the block in March after receiving a takeover offer at $5.75 a share from a hedge-fund operator. The stock has traded above $6.10 in recent months before selling off lately amid the lack of a firm takeover deal. Attachmate plans to operate Novell as two business units, Novell and SUSE, and join them with their Attachmate and NetIQ businesses. Novell President and Chief Executive Ron Hovsepian said those four have complementary product portfolios and many shared customers. He added Novell's board after a "thorough review of a broad range of alternatives" concluded the deals were the best alternative. -By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; [email protected]

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