Micro Focus buying Novell, Suse Linux owner for $US1.2 billion

Micro Focus to pick up Attachmate for a little over half of what Attachmate paid for Novell three years ago

In a move that will collect a lot of infrastructure software under one roof, mainframe software provider Micro Focus has started proceedings to merge with Attachmate Group, owners of Novell and Suse Linux, for about $US1.2 billion.

The combined company should have yearly revenue of $US1.4 billion, with more than 4500 employees and more than 30,000 customers, Micro Focus said.

A merger of the companies makes sense given that both are established enterprise software vendors with global marketing reach and little overlap in either products or customers, said Kevin Loosemore, Micro Focus executive chairman, in a statement. Attachmate purchased enterprise software vendor Novell in 2011 for $US2.2 billion.

Under terms of the deal, Attachmate's parent company, Wizard Parent, will exchange with Micro Focus all of Attachmate's 86 million public shares, traded on the London Stock Exchange and now worth about £729.6 million ($US1.18 billion), for approximately 40 per cent of shares in the combined company.

Based in Houston, the Attachmate Group oversees four software product portfolios:

  • Novell, a comprehensive line of employee productivity, printing and networking software;
  • Attachmate, a line of advanced software for terminal emulation, legacy modernization and managed file transfer;
  • Suse, a line of enterprise Linux and Linux-based Cloud software that was part of the Novell acquisition;
  • NetIQ, also from the Novell purchase, a line of identity, access and security management software.

Attachmate has over 3300 employees in 80 offices worldwide.

Based in Newbury, England, Micro Focus offers a number of software products for the enterprise, including an IBM mainframe modernization software, COBOL development kits and a range of testing tools.

Micro Focus expects the deal to close by November.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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