Novell finally agrees a sale, with Attachmate buying it for £2.2bn

Software provider Novell has agreed to be bought by privately held Attachmate for about $2.2bn (£1.38bn).

The deal will also involve Novell selling some assets to a consortium led by Microsoft.

Novell shares closed 6.5 per cent higher at $5.96 after the news but were still below the deal value of $6.10 per share.

The deal will end months of speculation about the future of the company, with many expecting it to be carved up.

In March Novell rejected an unsolicited bid from Elliott Associates to buy the firm for $5.75 per share.

After it rejected that offer the Novell board ran an auction process that drew multiple rounds of bids that dragged out over several months.

Novell chief executive Ron Hovsepian said: “The board explored all alternatives... and found this to be the best value for our shareholders.”

This included the option of remaining independent, he said.

Novell said the $2.2bn deal value includes its concurrent sale of some intellectual property assets for $450m to the Microsoft consortium known as CPTN Holdings.

Both deals are expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

The Attachmate deal needs approval from regulators and Novell shareholders.

The IP sale is also subject to the closing of the Attachmate merger as well as regulatory approval, Novell said.