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March 28, 1989

NOVELL TO BUY EXCELAN TO RETAKE TOP NET SPOT FROM 3COM

By CBR Staff Writer

Late on the eve of a holiday is hardly the best time to make a big, positive announcement, but it is difficult to believe that Novell Inc, Provo, Utah, and Excelan Inc, San Jose, California, are anything other than proud of the news that they are to wed in a share exchange valuing Excelan at about $170m. Novell Inc made an unhappy foray into hardware and decided to back off, investing most of its resources in software development; Excelan is in zzhardware, and specialises in boards and software to enable incompatible machines to co-operate on a local network, while its Kinetics subsidiary specialises in networking products for the Apple Computer Inc Macintosh. Excelan did net profits of $5.5m on turnover of $66m in 1988, while Novell did $30.4m net on $281m for the year to October, so the combined company will have annual sales in excess of $350m, and at current growth rates will likely just top 3Com Corp, which is expected to have sales of $380m in the year to May 1989. Consummation of the deal, which involves Novell paying at least 0.475 and a maximum of 0.6 of a share for each Excelan out, is not expected until mid-summer.

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