Elliott's offer of $US2 billion boils down to actually paying about half of that price as Novell is cash-rich and has nearly $1 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.
As the former editor of Linux Today, the erudite Brian Profitt, points out, Elliott, like quite a good many other hedge funds, behaves like a vulture. It buys companies, dismembers them and sells them for a profit.
There will be no emotion where Elliott is concerned; the fund even purchased debt in a poor country like Costa Rica when it was possible to make a few million there, Profitt writes. In this respect, Elliott appears to follow in the grand tradition of asset management companies like the legendary Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts.
Free software and open source types may agonise over a sale, since one of the better known GNU/Linux distributions, SUSE Linux, is one of the main assets that Novell still possesses.
But Elliott can probably only see dollar signs when it looks at Novell and if the commercial SUSE distribution suffers as a result, I doubt that there would be any tears shed.