SUSE, the open source software company owned by British firm Micro Focus International, has been sold to a Swedish private equity firm.
Yes, SUSE Linux and its associated software business has finally been acquired by EQT Partners for $2.535 billion, lifting its shares 6 percent.
SUSE is one of the oldest open source companies and perhaps the first to provide enterprise-grade Linux software service to banks, universities and government agencies around the world.
Since its foundation in 1992, SUSE has changed ownership multiple times. US-based software company Novell acquired SUSE for $120 million in November 2003 to compete with Microsoft in the operating system market.
However, things did not work as the company thought and Novell in turn itself was acquired by another US-based company The Attachmate Group for $2.2 billion in 2011. Three years later, Micro Focus International acquired Attachmate for $2.35 billion in 2014.
Since then SUSE Linux has been part of Micro Focus as a semi-independent division and competing with Red Hat and Ubuntu in the corporate market for open-source operating systems software.
Now, EQT Partners has announced to be the new owner of SUSE and plans to run it as an independent company to strengthen the products with developers and engineers.
Here’s what Johannes Reichel from EGT said about the deal: “Investment into engineers was somewhat restricted under prior ownership. That will change. Against the backdrop of increasing trade conflicts, corporate customers appreciate an infrastructure software supplier with European origins.”
SUSE is excited about the new partnership, as it mentioned on its blog post that the partnership with EQT would further exploit the excellent market opportunity both in the Linux operating system area as well as in emerging product groups in the open source space.
“Today is an exciting day in SUSE’s history. By partnering with EQT, we will become a fully independent business. The next chapter in SUSE’s development will continue, and even accelerate the momentum generated over recent years,” SUSE CEO Nils Brauckmann wrote in a statement.
“Together with EQT we will benefit both from further investment opportunities and having the continuity of a leadership team focused on securing long-term profitable growth combined with a sharp focus on customer and partner success.”
Worried About OpenSUSE?
If you are worried about other open source projects by SUSE, including OpenSUSE, SUSE team has assured its users that it is committed to open source leadership and support for the key open source communities to remain unchanged.
“In keeping with its 25-year history, SUSE intends to remain committed to an open source development and business model and actively participate in communities and projects to bring open source innovation to the enterprise as high quality, reliable and usable solutions,” SUSE team says.
“This truly open, open source model, where open refers to the freedom of choice provided to customers and not just our code, is embedded in SUSE’s culture, differentiates it in the marketplace and has been key to its success.”
Moreover, OpenSUSE, the free Linux distribution based on SUSE Linux, is entirely independent of SUSE’s flagship SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), so you don’t need to panic.
Chairman of openSUSE, Richard Brown, has stated in the mailing list that the SUSE acquisition deal “will have no negative impacts on openSUSE,” adding that SUSE remains firmly “committed to supporting the openSUSE community […] which is expected to continue under their new partnership with EQT.”
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