Novell Declines Elliott Offer, Hedge Fund Hails Sale News

Mar 22 2010 | 2:07pm ET

Software giant Novell Inc. has rejected a $2 billion bid for itself from hedge fund Elliott Associates.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company said the hedge fund’s bid undervalues its “franchise and growth prospects.” But Novell said it would launch a review of strategic alternatives, an indication that it would consider putting itself up for sale.

Despite the rejection, Elliott said it was pleased with Novell’s announcement.

“We welcome the board’s decision to conduct a sale of the company, which we believe is the best way to maximize shareholder value,” the hedge fund said. “Our goal is to acquire Novell, and our cash offer to acquire all of the company’s shares for $5.75 per share provides shareholders with a substantial premium. We look forward to the process and to actively pursuing an acquisition of the company.”

Elliott did not indicate whether it would be willing to boost its offer.

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