Elliott Associates, along with a related firm, Elliott International, is the third largest owner of Novell stock, with about eight percent.
The letter made an offer of $US5.75 per share on an all-cash basis. It said the offer represented a 37 premium on Novell's share price on January 4 and a 20 percent premium on the price of March 1.
In its recent results announcement, Novell indicated that it had a balance of $US991 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.
The hedge fund release said its offer represented a premium of 49 percent on the current enterprise value.
UPDATED March 5, 2am: In a short note, Novell confirmed the offer from Elliott Associates to buy the company for $US5.75 per share. "Novell anticipates that its Board of Directors will review Elliott's proposal in consultation with its financial and legal advisors. J.P. Morgan is serving as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as legal counsel to Novell," the company added.
Novell has had a hard time making profits ever since its NetWare product was knocked off the pedestal it occupied in the '80s and early 1990s. In November 2006, the company signed a patent-licensing deal with Microsoft but has yet to show substantial gains from the deal.