The New York Times has also reported a similar development.
The hedge fund Elliott and Associates made an offer of $US2 billion for Novell in early March. The offer was turned down by the company.
Elliott owns 8.5 per cent of Novell and is the largest single shareholder.
At that time, Novell indicated it had a balance of $US991 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. The company had just published its results and stated that its Linux business was at break-even point.
The WSJ report said about 20 companies had expressed interest in buying Novell, with most of the serious buyers being private equity companies.
Novell's recent victory in the battle with the SCO Group over the rights to UNIX has added some value to the firm. But given that the economic climate has not substantially improved since the Elliott bid in March, it is difficult to see anyone paying much more than the $US2 billion that Elliott offered.