Novell has already sold 464,000 of the 6.1 million shares it owns in the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) in a move that caused the latter's stock price to drop temporarily.
The networking supplier acquired a 14 per cent stake in SCO in 1995 in return for handing over the Unix SVR4 sourcecode and Unixware product it had purchased from AT&T's Unix Systems Laboratories a couple of years before.
The acquisition was disastrous for Novell, causing it to defocus and spend large amounts of valuable research and development dollars on projects that it later had to abort. The organisation has since been involved in lengthy cost cutting exercises, the latest one being a stated intention to dump its shareholdings in Corel and SCO.
It said the combined holding had resulted in ?unrealised losses of $56 million as of April 30 1998,? which were brought about by losses made by SCO and Corel themselves over the past financial year as both vendors struggle to reinvent themselves in the face of increased market competition.
At the SCO Forum developers' conference in Santa Cruz last week, Doug Michels, SCO?s president and chief executive, said the company had repurchased 324,000 of the 464,000 shares Novell had sold.
?We?re continuing to talk to Novell to ensure it makes sales that make more sense than the last time and we?ve already made several proposals. The shares traded fairly lightly, but whenever you sell in volume, the price goes down and as long as Novell keeps selling there?ll be an impact on the share price. We want to buy the stock, which is attractively priced at the moment and we?re working with Novell to transfer it in the best ways for both parties,? he explained.
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