novell suse linux elliott associatesElliott Associates, the hedge fund that's seeking to acquire Novell and SUSE Linux, is denying a report that it plans to break up Novell and sell off the pieces. Hmmm... But The VAR Guy still wonders: Will Novell and Elliott Associates reach a buyout agreement in time for Novell BrainShare -- a big customer and partner that starts March 21? Here's some speculation.

A report by Bloomberg News suggested that Elliott Associates planned to buy Novell then potentially sell off some or all of the pieces. But a March 11 statement from Elliott Associates denied the report:
"The story that Bloomberg ran today was inaccurate," the firm said. "Elliott has made no statement with respect to its intent regarding Novell.  Elliott wants to own the company. Elliott has no plans to sell any business units and to report anything else would be erroneous."

No Deal (At Least Not Yet...)

Of course, Elliott Associates first needs to "acquire" Novell before the hedge fund can actually decide to do with the company's various assets -- which range from SUSE Linux to identity and access management and data center software.

Novell has confirmed that it is evaluating an unsolicited takeover bid from Elliott Associates; the bid is valued at about $2 billion. The VAR Guy continues to believe that Novell will provide an update before BrainShare 2010 starts March 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. If Novell doesn't offer an update, the takeover bid could become a major distraction for Novell, partners, customers and annoying anonymous bloggers attending BrainShare.

The VAR Guy has also wondered if a white knight -- IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, or CA Inc. -- would emerge to buy Novell. But the best potential fit on that list -- CA, which has a bunch of security and system management synergies with Novell -- seems to be out of the running, The VAR Guy believes.

The reason: CA just opened its wallet to acquire Nimsoft, the managed services software provider, for $350 million. The VAR Guy doubts CA would open its wallet even wider only a few days later to buy Novell.

Still, stranger things have happened in the software market.

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