Attachmate Buys Novell

Attachmate gets more than just software

In a somewhat stunning development, Attachmate Corporation just bought Novell. The press release boils down to: “Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL), the leader in intelligent workload management, today announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Attachmate Corporation would acquire Novell for $6.10 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion.”

There have been rumors floating around for years about an acquisition of Novell, generally by IBM and other large IT providers.

So who in the world is Attachmate Corporation?

Attachmate is a private software company backed by an investment group. They focus generally on enterprise clients, and most people will know of Attachmate via their NetIQ business unit. (NetIQ is heavily invested in Windows and Windows technologies, including Active Directory.)

This isn’t the first big acquisition by Attachmate. The acquisition that made Attachmate into a powerhouse was WRQ, which gave Attachmate its reach into enterprises. The NetIQ acquisition gave Attachmate reach into departmental operations because of NetIQ’s strong play for AD.

And now Novell.            

So what is Novell bringing to the table?

First and foremost, Novell has a very wide product line-up, which will allow Attachmate to better leverage its existing reach into the enterprise and department server closet. And, even more so, Attachmate gets something that it’s lacked, at least directly: Mindshare.

Novell is a household name, while Attachmate is not. So despite its deep reach in the enterprise, Attachmate has lacked a way to tackle IT providers and software providers, such as CA, head-to-head. With Novell this changes.

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