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McBride Says "Revitalized" SCO is Reason for $50 Million Windfall Investment

McBride Says "Revitalized" SCO is Reason for $50 Million Windfall Investment

Here's what Maureen O'Gara writes, in full - courtesy of Linux Business Week

"In a surprise move IBM should be interested in, BayStar Capital and some other still-unidentified institutions have put 50 million bucks in the SCO Group for a 17.5% position.

Together with what SCO already had in the bank, the investment puts $61 million at its disposal, suggesting that the Linux contingent will have it to kick around a while longer.

SCO CEO Darl McBride said the company wasn't shopping for an investment, but got four or five offers during road shows taken to Wall Street. Meanwhile, the company, whose future looked pretty bleak only six months ago when just $4 million stood between it and the poor house, is now accreting cash.

McBride, who said he was personally spending a couple of days a week on SCO's IP interests, claimed that big company Linux users were writing checks for SCO licenses.

He declined to discuss who they were or how many they were or the size of the checks. Some inkling as to SCO's actual success should be available when it reports its next quarter.

The company has decided it's in no rush with its license negotiations, which McBride insists are going smashingly, so it's pushed out the original October 15 deadline for doubling the license fees. As reported here before, it has also abandoned the idea of sending out invoices, at least for the moment.

McBride claimed that although the VCs were attracted by SCO's IP position, what clinched the deal was the way its core business is being revitalized.

Larry Goldfarb, the BayStar managing partner reportedly behind the financing, was unavailable at press time.

In its official statement, SCO said it would use the money for its Unix and SCOx web services development, strategic partnerships and protecting its IP. It also expressed confidence that it had "secured the capital necessary to fund all aspects of the long-term growth of this company."

By the time the investment was announced late Thursday the investor group had already made money. They paid $16.93 a share and SCO was hugging 20 bucks in part because Deutsche Bank Securities, drawn by the possible upside from SCO's $3 billion suit against IBM or a billion-dollar SCO acquisition, initiated coverage Tuesday with a buy recommendation and hung a $45 price target on it. However it did admit it considers the stock "extremely high risk and volatile" and the "equivalent of a call option" that's unlikely to expire before spring 2005.

By the by, Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Skiba said he wasn't "attempting to predict the outcome of the legal case."

SCO's original backer, the Canopy Group, currently owns 40-odd points and some institutions have bought shares on the open market."

Linux Business Week, October 20, 2003

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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