Novell completes financing of Volera spin-off

Novell Inc. has completed the initial round of financing for its spin-off company Volera Inc., taking in US$83 million and completing the formation of the new company, it announced Friday.

Volera offers software products and services for caching and content delivery over the Internet and promises to boost the speed and quality of such content delivery.

Though Novell owns the majority interest in the company, Volera is also backed by Nortel Networks Corp. and consulting firm Accenture Inc. (formerly Andersen Consulting). The three companies will provide cash, consulting services and technology to the start-up and offer a starting point for alliances. Novell announced the creation of Volera in early February. The company has excellent technology and staff, but may be offering it too late, said Peter Christy, a research fellow at Jupiter Research Inc.

"If (the spin-off) had been done two years ago, it would have been an amazing offering," he said, but "now the market for caching products and companies is much more difficult."

Novell said in its statement that it plans to eventually take the company public, possibly as early as the end of 2002. Volera is not expected to earn more than $30 million in revenue for 2001, a Novell executive said at Volera's launch.

Christy was skeptical as to whether such an offering could succeed. "This is a really ugly time to create a company that has to be viewed on its own," he said.

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