Novell has dismissed rumours of a friendly merger with Sun Microsystems but admits closer collaboration with the company is likely and a joint venture is possible.
Speaking exclusively to VNU Newswire, senior vice president Denice Gibson admitted Novell shares a lot of technology, business and communication with Sun. "A joint venture might be possible with Eric Schmidt on board but we've had no negotiations down that path," she said.
She said a merger was unlikely and added that Schmidt would not be satisfied with leading Novell if it became part of Sun. "Eric wants to do it alone. When Novell acquires or merges it sucks; the culture clashes would be tough. Even when our stock price was rock bottom nobody made a bid for us."
Gibson said a merger would be hampered by conflict of interest with Sun subsidiary Javasoft, which could not be included in a combined company and remain open to its partners. "We want to deal with Sun, not its individual companies, but Javasoft is fair to all and gives no better treatment to any one company," she added.
Gibson, a turnaround specialist, is recognised as an important part of Novell's new management team. She joined nine months ago and has been given responsibility for all product groups and some marketing.
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