August 2, 2000 8:30 AM PDT

Caldera Systems creates new company with Unix buy

Linux distributor Caldera Systems today said it agreed to purchase two divisions of Santa Cruz Operation, a provider of Unix operating systems, and form a new company.

Caldera Systems said it will form the new company to acquire assets from SCO's Server Software and Professional Services divisions and will have exclusive distribution rights for the SCO OpenServer product line. Third-quarter revenues for OpenServer were $11.1 million, the company said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Caldera Systems will form a new company, Caldera, with the Professional Services division. SCO will receive 28 percent of Caldera in exchange for its Professional Services and Server Software divisions and $7 million in cash, the company said in a statement.

The 28 percent stake will amount to about 17.54 million Caldera shares worth nearly $300 million.

SCO sells Unix servers, "Tarantella" thin-client software, and Linux services.

Although Caldera Systems is widely known as a Linux player, the acquisition of the SCO divisions gives it a larger Unix presence.

In conjunction with the acquisition, which is expected to close in October, The Canopy Group, a major stockholder of Caldera Systems, has agreed to loan $18 million to SCO.

Following the completion of the deal, Caldera Systems CEO Ransom Love will become CEO of the new company; David McCrabb, president of SCO's Server Software division, will become president and COO of Caldera; Jim Wilt, president of SCO's Professional Services division, will become president of the newly formed Caldera Services Division; and SCO chief Doug Michels will join Caldera's board of directors.

The new company's headquarters will be in Orem, Utah, where Caldera Systems is based.


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