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SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn

Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse

Attachmate, the software shop that headhunted Novell and SUSE Linux, is itself being bought out by Micro Focus International.

The mainframe and COBOL specialist is acquiring Attachmate Group from its parent company Wizard in a deal calculated at $2.3bn before costs.

Micro Focus is taking Attachmate Group in exchange for 86.60 million shares, in a deal described as a merger. The combined companies will create a “leading global infrastructure software company” with revenue of $1.4bn, Micro Focus said. The deal is expected to close in November.

It also represents a “significant increase in the scale and breadth of Micro Focus.”

The deal will allow the new company to offer products and services spanning Linux and host connectivity in addition to mainframe modernization and COBOL.

Attachmate gives MicroFocus access to SUSE and Novell, business units bought by the company in 2010 for $2.2bn. Novell owned SUSE Linux, which it had bought in 2003 for $210m. Under Attachmate, the two were broken apart.

Attachmate once earned the ire of the open source community for taking on Novell and then putting 882 patents in its Linux portfolio up for sale to a consortium backed by Microsoft.

SUSE is chief steward of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server while Novell has been re-shaped to sell end-point management and collaboration software.

Also in the stable are Attachmate's terminal emulation, legacy moderinsiation and managed file-transfer, and NetIQ for identity, access, and security systems for data centres.

In a statement, Micro Focus chairman Kevin Loosemore said the deal provides a “rare opportunity to achieve a significant increase in the scale and breadth of Micro Focus.” He added there was a "compelling rationale” as both companies are established, enterprise software vendors operating at scale with no overlap in customers. ®

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