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Caldera Changes its Captain but Stays the Course - page 3

Say Hi to the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?

  • June 27, 2002
  • By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Finally, Caldera also agreed to purchase its common stock shares held by two significant shareholders, Tarantella (http://www.tarantella.com) and MTI Technology (http://www.mti.com) The deal, to be finalized in early July, will return 4.4 million shares, about 31% of Caldera's issued and outstanding common stock. Caldera will be paying approximately 93 cents per share.

Caldera, after a four to one reverse stock split in May has continued to struggle on the NASDAQ. Today, in the wake of its new leadership announcement, the stock gained 26.67% to a price of 76 cents a share on higher than normal trading. That would be much more impressive, however, if the company hadn't plunged from 77 cents to 60 cents on the previous day, June 26th.

In addition, Caldera and Tarantella modified the agreement that lead to Caldera taking over the SCO operating systems. The gist of the modifications was to eliminate Tarantella's right to OpenServer earn-out revenues. Specifically, in return for a $500,000 payment, Caldera will no longer need to give Tarantella 45 percent of its OpenServer revenue over $22 million this year. And, had the agreement stayed in place, in the next fiscal year (beginning November 1st 2002), 45 percent of all revenue beyond $9 million.

Will all these changes be enough to see Caldera sail to financial success? Only time will tell, but even their most ardent critics would have to admit that Caldera is certainly trying hard to make a go of the Intel Unix and Linux business.

Will UnitedLinux fare better with Love at the tiller? Here, the answer seems to be a more positive yes. UnitedLinux has made little public progress since it's late May launch, and a strong, well-known Linux leader guiding the ship should help it to give Red Hat a run for the all important Linux business server market share.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is a freelance writer, and editor of Practical Technology (http://www.practical-tech.com)

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