Elliott Bids $2 Billion For Software Co. Novell

Mar 3 2010 | 5:44am ET

Elliott Management has made an unsolicited offer to buy software company Novell for almost $2 billion in cash.

The New York-based hedge fund, which already owns an 8.5% stake in Novell, is offering $5.75 per share, a 21% premium to Novell shares’ closing price yesterday. Elliott would buy the shares it does not own for about $1.83 billion.

In a letter to Waltham, Mass.-based Novell’s board of directors, portfolio manager Jesse Cohn wrote, “Over the past several years, the company has attempted to diversify away from its legacy division with a series of acquisitions and changes in strategic focus that have largely been unsuccessful.  As a result, we believe the company's stock has meaningfully underperformed all relevant indices and peers.”

In a short statement of its own, Novell said it “anticipates that its board of directors will review Elliott’s proposal in consultation with its financial and legal advisors.”

Elliott has about $16 billion in assets under management.

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