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The French GNU/Linux company, Mandriva, may be forced to shut its doors as soon as January 16, following the refusal of one of its main shareholders to accept a recapitalisation scheme.


The distribution produced by Mandriva was formerly known as Mandrake Linux. The company is no stranger to financial difficulties, having gone through several convulsions in the past.

According to a two-page letter (page 1, page 2) from the chief executive, Dominique Loucougain, to shareholders, which was posted to the Mandriva forum, LinLux (formerly Occam) had turned down both recapitalisation schemes proposed for the company.

Another investor, Townarea Trading and Investments, had offered to bear the entire €4 million recapitalisation. Loucougain wrote that fresh infusion of money was a must, failing which the company would have to shut shop on January 16.

The recapitalisation was first proposed on September 30; LinLux objected to it at the time because there no contract between Mandriva and a Russian firm, Rosa Labs, which is involved in development of the Mandriva GNU/Linux distribution.

Loucougain wrote that, following this, a contract had been entered into and a fresh meeting of shareholders held on December 5. At this meeting LinLux, which owns 42 per cent of Mandriva, had rejected both recapitalisation schemes proposed.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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