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Novell's headquarters is returning to Provo, where it was born 32 years ago.

The privately held Attachmate Group of Houston announced Wednesday it has completed its $2.2 billion purchase of Novell Inc., the Utah-founded technology company that remains one of the state's largest high-tech operations.

The deal was announced late last year after Novell had put itself up for sale in the wake of an unsolicited offer to buy the company. It closed Wednesday morning, and Novell's shares ceased trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange at the close of business.

Novell was founded in 1979 in Provo as Novell Data Systems. Its headquarters was moved to Waltham, Mass., in 2004.

Attachmate CEO Jeff Hawn said Wednesday that Novell will now operate as two separate business units under the Novell and SUSE names.

"We are once again establishing Provo as the headquarters of the Novell unit," said Hawn, with some employees remaining in Massachusetts and other offices.

Bob Flynn of Attachmate was named president and general manager of the Novell unit.

Novell CEO Ron Hovespian left the company with the Wednesday closing.

The Attachmate unit of the Attachmate Group is headquartered in Seattle and its NetIQ unit in Houston. The headquarters for SUSE, which was bought by Novell in 2003, and that offers products based on the Linux computer operating system, will be re-established in Nuremberg, Germany.,

Hawn said separating SUSE from Novell will give the German unit more visibility and enable it to better brand its products.

Novell offers software to manage businesses' computers systems, including identity management and security.

Hawn said there will be some movement of employees as the Novell unit is restructured into two but he said "over the long term, this is going to be good for Provo and Provo employment." Novell said last year it had 1,380 people at its Provo office.

It started looking at strategic alternatives, including a sale after rejecting a $2 billion takeover offer in March 2010 from shareholder Elliot Associates LP. Attachmate owners include Francisco Partners and Thoma Bravo.

Novell also said Wednesday it had completed the sale of a number of patent and patent applications for $450 million to CPTN Holdings, a consortium of technology companies led by Microsoft.

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