One of the long running commercial Linux distributors Suse, which is now the major player in the open-source infrastructure and management space, has been through a few ownership transfer in recent years. Micro Focus acquired Suse from The Attachmate Group back in 2014, which itself had acquired Novell, which was the former owner of Suse, in 2010. Today, according to the information from EQT reads that Suse would be changing ownership again, as private equity firm and venture capital fund.
While the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, EQT says the deal valued Suse at $2.535 billion.
Unlike other companies that have gone through this number of ownership changes, Suse has emerged stronger. What was once a solid Linux distribution for the enterprise is now a player in various open-source fields, with a focus on software-defined infrastructure and application delivery solutions, as well as other managed cloud services. The company currently has about 1,400 employees and in 2017 it recorded sales of $320 million.
It’s worth noting that EQT makes for an interesting acquirer. The firm’s current portfolio includes a range of technology companies, though you probably haven’t heard of any of them, as well as a motley assortment of consumer goods businesses, real estate groups and healthcare services, with a few energy companies thrown into the mix.
“We were impressed by the business’ strong performance over the last years as well as by its strong culture and heritage as a pioneer in the open source space,”.
“These characteristics correspond well to EQT’s DNA of supporting and building strong and resilient companies, and driving growth.” said EQT partner Johannes Reichel in his announcement. EQT’s focus so far hasn’t been on open-source companies, though, so it’ll be interesting to see how this will play out.