Who is Novell’s Mystery PE bidder?

Who is buying Novell Inc?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself this morning. Novell, a business software provider, has been up for sale since March. At that time, the firm rejected a $5.75 a share, or $2 billion, offer from Elliot Associates. Novell then tapped J.P. Morgan Chase to explore alternatives.

The auction attracted many suitors which narrowed to three in August. This included a PE-backed company, a UK-based buyout shop and a joint bid between a publicly traded tech company and a buyout shop, according to 451 Group. On Tuesday, the NY Post said Novell will sell in two parts: a strategic will buy the Novell piece that develops and delivers Linux SUSE Systems and a PE firm will buy the rest.

The story didn’t name the PE firm involved. We’re hearing that Permira, Silverlake and Francisco Partners have each looked at Novell in the past. However, it’s not clear if any of those firms are  involved.

Novell currently has a marketcap of about $2.07 Billion. Shares surged 6.1% in late morning trading to $5.91.