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Novell tries to calm the storm

Novell, trying to calm the roiled waters over an unexpected buyout bid, sought to reassure partners that it’s “business as usual.”

That was the message in an email sent by Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian to “valued partners” yesterday.

“As you will see in our news release, we anticipate Novell’s Board of Directors will review Elliott’s proposal in consultation with Novell’s financial and legal advisors. Beyond that, it is business as usual for us at Novell.

Both you and our customers remain a top priority. We are privileged to work with you in partnership and our primary focus continues to be on providing you with the best possible products and services.”

The unsolicited $2 billion offer from hedge fund Elliott has many feeling that the end game is a sell-off of Novell’s IP assets. And IP assets Novell has in spades–with its vault of Unix-related patents.

Another hedge fund manager who knows Elliott, characterized the firm as “scary smart.”

“They are deep value guys–very good at analyzing distressed companies, companies in bankruptcy, weird bonds–so they’ve probably figured out what they think Novell is worth and are going to push it into someone else’s arms.”

“I would bet the Elliot guys have hired lawyers to look at the patents and figure out what the values are,” he noted.

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