Venture firms exit SUSE LINUX for $210m

Three venture capital firms have realised their investment in SUSE LINUX, a German technology firm that has been sold to Novell of the US for $210m.

The UK’s Apax Partners and German venture capital firms AdAstra and e-millennium 1 fund have exited from German hi-tech firm SUSE LINUX, which has been sold to Novell for $210m.

The deal allows Novell to offer a more comprehensive range of services on the LINUX platform, which poses a challenge to Microsoft’s proprietary software. Novell demonstrated its commitment to LINUX solutions in August when acquiring Ximian, a leader in LINUX server and desktop solutions. 
Apax Partners invested alongside Intel in a E12m financing of SUSE LINUX in November 1999, prior to AdAstra investing a further E4.4m in February 2000. e-millennium 1 then led a E15m funding round in October 2001.

Citigroup provided financial advice to Novell on the deal, while Clifford Chance Puender acted as legal adviser. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer provided legal advice to SUSE LINUX.

Coinciding with the deal, IBM has announced its intention to invest $50m in Novell convertible preferred stock.

Formed in 1992, SUSE LINUX is one of the world’s leading providers of LINUX software and services. Nasdaq-listed Novell is a provider of information solutions that deliver secure identity management, web application development and cross-platform networking services supported by strategic consulting and professional services.