The SCO Group Inc. said Thursday it plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the coming year as a private company through a $100 million investment from a private-equity investment partnership and Middle Eastern partners.
The Lindon-based company, which has been mired in litigation regarding ownership of the Unix computer operating system and alleged misuse of Unix source code, said its reorganization plan will "enable the company to see SCO's legal claims through to their full conclusion."
The $100 million from Stephen Norris Capital Partners and its undisclosed partners in the Middle East will finance the reorganization plan, SCO said Thursday.
Norris will take a controlling interest in SCO and take the company private. SCO said Norris has developed a business plan that features unveiling new products.
"We saw a tremendous investment opportunity in SCO and its vast range of products and services, including many new innovations ready or soon to be ready to be released into the marketplace," Stephen Norris, managing partner for Stephen Norris Capital Partners, said in a news release. "We expect to quickly develop these opportunities, and to stand behind SCO's existing base of customers and partners."
An SCO spokeswoman on Thursday declined to comment on the matter.
SCO said in a news release that its board of directors has unanimously determined that the financing and reorganization plan "is in the best long-term interest of SCO and its subsidiaries, as well as its customers, shareholders, creditors and employees."
"Not only will this deal position us to emerge from Chapter 11, but it also marks an exciting future for our business," said Jeff Hunsaker, president and chief operating officer of SCO Operations. "This significant financial backing is positive news for SCO's customers, partners and resellers who continue to request upgrades and rely upon SCO's Unix services to drive their business forward."
SCO licenses Unix software technology and provides mobile services.
Norris co-founded The Carlyle Group, a private equity and leveraged buyout firm in Washington, D.C, where he served as a founder and managing director until 1995. Information from SCO indicates that Norris has made, directed or participated in more than 125 leveraged buyouts, venture capital and real-estate equity investments totaling more than $6 billion.
He also has structured and negotiated investments of more than $1 billion on behalf of a prominent Middle Eastern investor in Citicorp, Euro Disney and the Four Seasons Hotel Co. Those investments have returned "well over" $10 billion, it said.
Norris was appointed in 1990 by then-President George H.W. Bush as one of the five members of the $68 billion Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
Norris' partner, Mark Robbins, has experience in structured finance and private equity as co-founder and managing partner of Peninsula Advisors. Robbins has managed and originated more than $1.2 billion in private placements, SCO said.
SCO has been in litigation with Novell Inc. about ownership of Unix copyrights and with International Business Machines Corp. about alleged misappropriation of Unix source code into Linux, an "open source" operating system whose code is freely shared.A federal judge in August ruled that Novell owned the Unix copyrights. Novell, a seller of Linux software, had contended that SCO did not have the right to demand royalties from IBM or other Linux users. SCO filed for bankruptcy protection in September.
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