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UK's Micro Focus sells SUSE software business for $2.5 billion

Staff Writer |
Britain’s Micro Focus has agreed to sell its SUSE open-source enterprise software business to Swedish buyout group EQT Partners for $2.535 billion, lifting its shares 6 percent.

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Micro Focus, a serial acquirer that has been struggling to get to grips with a $8.8 billion Hewlett Packard Enterprise deal, said on Monday it would use some of the proceeds to reduce debt and could return some of the rest to shareholders.

SUSE is used by banks, universities and government agencies around the world and is a pioneer in enterprise-grade Linux software serving companies such as Air India, Daimler and Total.

It has been part of Micro Focus since 2014, when the British company acquired The Attachmate Group for $2.35 billion, and SUSE Linux competes with Red Hat (RHT.N) and Ubuntu in the corporate market for open source operating systems software.

Micro Focus, which manages older software for customers including banks and airlines, has run SUSE as a semi-independent division.

EQT said as the new owner it would help SUSE hire software engineers to expand the products it offers.

“Investment into engineers was somewhat restricted under prior ownership. That will change,” EQT’s Johannes Reichel said.

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