Caldera Inc., You've just won a $155 million cash and prestige settlement from Microsoft Corp. What are you going to do?
Caldera Systems Inc.: We're going to go public!OK, so it's not that simple.
On the same day Orem-based Caldera Inc. announced it had settled its antitrust lawsuit with Microsoft Corp., another Caldera -- Caldera Systems Inc., also of Orem -- announced it had filed with federal regulators to take the company public.
It's a move both companies are calling coincidental, but the timing has its marketing advantages.
A bit of history: Caldera Inc. is the former parent company of Caldera Systems Inc. In September 1998, Caldera Systems Inc. spun off to develop its Linux for e-business technology.
As soon as the legal rigmarole between Caldera Inc. and Microsoft is worked out, Caldera Systems' president and chief executive officer Ransom Love said the Caldera name will become the sole property of Caldera Systems.
"Any connection between us is by association only," Love said. "We're ecstatic only because the suit is over, and now we can have our name. That was part of the agreement we had in place when we (Caldera Inc. and Caldera Systems Inc.) split."
Love said his company needed to keep the Caldera name because of its connection with Linux, which is essentially a rewrite of the UNIX operating system and an alternative to the Windows operating system.
Tuesday, Caldera Systems announced it intended to go public and had received $30 million in private equity funding to "fund operations and accelerate the growth and acceptance of Linux."
Investors include Sun Microsystems Inc., Novell and Citrix, each of which pledged support of Caldera's technology.
"Given our strategic goal of enabling access to any application on any platform with any device, an investment in a Linux company such as Caldera makes perfect sense," Citrix chief financial officer John Cunningham said in a prepared statement.
Love said the timing between Caldera Systems' IPO filing and its equity funding -- both of which occurred Monday, the same day Caldera Inc. settled with Microsoft -- was "unfortunate, and completely coincidental."
"In all honesty, our intent in going out in this second round of funding was to develop strong strategic relationships in our given market," Love said. "We never would have gone out in this funding round so close to our IPO. . . . We started the funding round six months ago, and it takes a while to put these things together. Unfortunately, the two -- the funding and the IPO -- came on the heels of one another."
But, he said, both events signal Caldera Systems' growing strength in the market, and the confidence of its investors. Several investors, including representatives from Novell and Citrix, will join Caldera Systems' board of directors.
"This has been both fun and exhilarating, but it also is very timely for the company because it will allow us to reach our goals and move into vital markets worldwide. We also now have a nine-member board of directors, including some of the industry's most illuminary (people)."