Swedish group EQT has agreed to acquire the oldest Linux vendor SUSE for $2.535 billion. This is the fourth time SUSE is changing ownership.

“Today is an exciting day in SUSE’s history. By partnering with EQT, we will become a fully independent business,” said Nils Brauckmann, SUSE CEO. “The next chapter in SUSE’s development will continue, and even accelerate the momentum generated over recent years. Together with EQT we will benefit both from further investment opportunities and having the continuity of a leadership team focused on securing long-term profitable growth combined with a sharp focus on customer and partner success. The current leadership team has managed SUSE through a period of significant growth, and now, with continued investment in technology innovation and go to market capability, will further develop SUSE’s momentum going forward.”

Impact on openSUSE

The Open Source community will be closely monitoring what impact this acquisition will have on Open Source culture within the company. In my previous conversation with Brauckmann, I have learned that he is extremely bullish about Open Source and despite acquisitions manages to maintain the soul of SUSE. I won’t expect anything different from this acquisition. I talked to Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE Board who is vacating in UK and received a call from Brauckmann to ensure that nothing changes for the community. Which speaks volumes about how much SUSE values its community.

Brown told me, “As a SUSE employee I’m excited about my employers new owners. As an openSUSE Contributor I’m not only excited but thrilled at the proactive steps SUSE has taken to reassure the community, which really shows just how well SUSE understands how to operate as part of the open source world.”

In a partnership with EQT, SUSE expects to be equipped to further exploit the excellent market opportunity both in the Linux operating system area as well as in emerging product groups in the open source space. Under the continued leadership of SUSE CEO Nils Brauckmann, SUSE will move to the next stage of its corporate evolution and operate globally as an independent company post-completion of the transaction. To ensure continuity, the SUSE business expects staffing, customer relationships, partnerships, product and service offering, commitment to open source leadership and support for the key open source communities to remain unchanged.

Developing: We are talking to SUSE today and will bring more in-depth updates…

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