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Something Odd about Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners - Updated 2Xs
Monday, February 25 2008 @ 11:27 PM EST

Now this is interesting enough to highlight. It's about the private equity firm looking to loan SCO money so they can sue Linux users again full speed ahead, Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners, or SNCP. Timothy Prickett Morgan on ItJungle wrote a glowing piece about their connection to military contractors and Middle Eastern money and retired general Wesley Clark, and then something peculiar happened:
SNCP said--and continues to say--on its Web site that former presidential candidate and retired general Wesley Clark is on the company's investment committee, which was stated in the original version of this story that ran on February 21. Clark has contacted IT Jungle and says that he is not affiliated with SNCP and the equity firm is using his name without permission.

Since he posted this, Clark's name has disappeared from the SNCP website.

Update: I just noticed something else in that article:

Norris is not just the managing partner at the firm, but also its chairman. Pamela Newman, executive vice president of insurer AON Corporation, is on the company's investment committee. Norris was one of the co-founders of private equity giant The Carlyle Group, so you can bet that SNCP has a desire to invest in military contractors as much as other more traditional IT high tech companies.

Remember my theory?

Update 2: And here's something even more peculiar, in an article by Tom Harvey in the Salt Lake Tribune, Planned investor hopes to settle suits:

The head of the private-equity fund fund seeking to take over The SCO Group said Monday his investors are interested in building SCO's software business and not in what they can wring out of high-profile lawsuits with IBM and Novell.

Stephen Norris said he and his unnamed Middle Eastern partners hope their planned investment of up to $100 million in the bankrupt Utah company will lead to a settlement of pending suits and allow it to concentrate on building SCO's UNIX software business.

"We don't view ourselves as being in the litigation business," Norris said in a telephone interview. "We'd like to find a way to resolve the current situation in a manner that balances a lot of people's interests and allows us to build a business and not focus on paying enormous amounts of money to lawyers."...

Norris expressed surprise Monday at the vehemence of the comments on blogs about his proposed investment but said the company hoped a settlement would put the matter behind it.

The article goes on to say that they haven't finished doing their due diligence, and of course the deal depends on that.

But wait a second. Let's read the proposed MOU once again, to measure the truthiness of this statement about wanting to settle:

Also upon the effective date of the Proposed Plan of Reorganization, SCO will continue to pursue aggressively the Company's claims in the Novell/IBM Litigation and other pending litigation, including The SCO Group, Inc. v. Autozone, Inc., pending in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Case No. CV-S-04-0237-RCJ-LRL (the "Autozone Litigation")....

Purpose of Loan: The purpose of the loan is to provide funds for (i) working capital for SCO following its emergence from bankruptcy, (ii) to pay interest when due under the Debt Financing, and (iii) to support the prosecution of the Reorganized Debtor's Litigation Claims, including providing letters of credit or other financial arrangements adequate to support any required appellate bonds (in which event the Reorganized SCO shall pay the reasonable letter of credit fees and expenses), and to effect payment of any final award against the Reorganized Debtor). Advances to SCO under (i) above shall be subject to the achievement of milestones and maintenance of loan covenants to be established by SNCP and SCO in the Loan Documents....

The Debtor and SNCP acknowledge and agree that a purpose and intended effect of the Proposed Plan of Reorganization is to maximize the Debtor's litigation recovery under the Pending Litigation.

Is that not clear English? So either he is saying that he hopes to settle with a big settlement in SCO's favor, which is obviously delusional. Or it's not true that they want to settle. Or the MOU, which they signed, doesn't reflect their true heart's desire. Or things are shifting.

And the assertion that they are really interested in the software and the business. Isn't that exactly what the lawyer for York said about the folks York was fronting for? This can't be Son of York, by any chance, can it? With SNCP fronting for the same folks?


  


Something Odd about Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners - Updated 2Xs | 120 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT here
Authored by: PolR on Monday, February 25 2008 @ 11:33 PM EST
Follow the instructions in red for clickies please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

NewsPicks discussions here
Authored by: PolR on Monday, February 25 2008 @ 11:35 PM EST
Please mention the article in the post title.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: PolR on Monday, February 25 2008 @ 11:37 PM EST
If any are required in such a short article.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ohhhhh
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Monday, February 25 2008 @ 11:40 PM EST


Ouch. Now why would a company list someone as being on the board if they
weren't?

I'm curious.


---
Wayne

http://sourceforge.net/projects/twgs-toolkit/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Stating the obvious
Authored by: PolR on Monday, February 25 2008 @ 11:41 PM EST
If they lie about Gen. Clark, they may lie about something else. But I can't
reach any conclusion of significance besides birds of a feather flock
together.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something Odd? The Carlyle Group!
Authored by: dodger on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 12:38 AM EST
from wikipedia:
"The Carlyle Group is a Washington, D.C. based global private equity
investment firm with more than $74.9 billion of equity capital under
management.[1] The firm operates four fund families, focusing on leveraged
buyouts, venture & growth capital, real estate and leveraged finance
investments."

and

"In the book House of Bush, House of Saud, author Craig Unger states that
Saudi Arabian interests have given $1.4 billion to firms connected to the Bush
family. Nearly 85% of the $1.4 billion, or about $1.18 billion, refers to Saudi
Arabian government contracts awarded to defense contractor BDM in the early to
mid 1990s. Carlyle, however, sold its interest in BDM before former President
George H. W. Bush joined as an advisor. Although, it should be noted that Bush
family confidant James A. Baker was on the board when the interests were
sold.[citation needed]."

It would be a big surprise that Ramsey Clark who has opposed the war in Iraq
would have anything to do with the Carlyle Group or any of it's puppets. That
they "advertised" his name and then withdrew it is a shocking
revelation and if PJ has saved screenshots and can produce proof of this
abuse....

[ Reply to This | # ]

What happen on the 'net...
Authored by: rand on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 01:04 AM EST
...stays on the 'net.
Investment Committee

General Wesley K. Clark, U.S. Army (Retired)

Wesley K. Clark is one of the nation's most distinguished retired military officers. During thirty-four years of service in the United States Army he rose to the rank of four-star general and in his last position was NATO's Supreme Allied Commander and the Commander-in-Chief of the US European Command. In 2004 he won the Oklahoma Democratic presidential primary and placed second in three other state primaries.

Since returning to the private sector, he has resumed activities at Wesley K. Clark & Associates, the private consulting firm he founded in 2003, working with a numerous clients in the areas of command and control communications, leadership, and technology development. He is also Vice Chairman of James Lee Witt Associates, a leading consulting firm in the field of homeland security, business continuity and disaster mitigation, a general partner in Four Seasons Ventures, an investment fund dedicated to commercializing military technology and an advisor to Goldman Sachs.

Prior to his run for the presidency, General Clark was Managing Director of Merchant Banking for Stephens Group, Inc, a large private investment bank, where he brought in numerous companies in the security and high-technology field for possible investment opportunities. He has been and is a member of numerous corporate and non-profit boards of directors.

General Clark graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy (B.S.) and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes Scholar.

Courtesy of Google, as usual.

It appears to be a verbatim cut-n-paste of a version of Gen. Clark's official biography, which has ap peared in several other places.

---
The wise man is not embarrassed or angered by lies, only disappointed. (IANAL and so forth and so on)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Happened Before
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 01:13 AM EST
I used to work for another company Gen. Clark was on the board of, before his
last run for President. He resigned from that board too, just before (or
after?) he announced his candidacy. There may be nothing to this other than
Clark preparing himself as a VP candidate. I certainly wouldn't assume he's
helping out the Bushes in some way.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something Odd -- and Odder -- about Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners
Authored by: ausage on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 01:18 AM EST

From the Stephen Norris Partners website:

The Partnership will not originate investments and accordingly will not "compete" with sponsoring private equity and buyout firms and thus will be more attractive as the Co-Investment "Partner of Choice" of those firms.

You have to wonder who the sponsoring partner could be. Is it?

  1. Someone who wants to hurt Linux / IBM / Novell so bad that they are willing to spend $100 million dollars to do it?

  2. Some foreign power on the list of restricted countries who are not allowed to buy UNIX ... (but they could get Linux for free)

  3. Somebody dumb enough to believe that they actually might make money on this deal, where when all is said and done SCO won't even be able to pay the interest on the loan.

I hope that Novell or IBM or somebody insists that the hidden partners be revealed and the money placed into an escrow account so it will be there when the time to collect arrives?

After all, I wonder how John Q. Public would feel to find out that the Bin Laden family controls the software used to run many of the defense department computers? :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wow, who knew that Wesley Clark read ITJungle...
Authored by: Brian S. on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 01:18 AM EST
From ITJungle:

SNCP said--and continues to say--on its Web site that former presidential candidate and retired general Wesley Clark is on the company's investment committee, which was stated in the original version of this story that ran on February 21. Clark has contacted IT Jungle and says that he is not affiliated with SNCP and the equity firm is using his name without permission. [Corrected 02/22/08]

I bet he doesn't, but someone who knows him does. Why be so touchy about an incorrection in some small story in a relatively obscure computer mag? Corrected in hours.

People in his position are misrepresented every day. It comes with the territory and politics?

His name has been on the Norris website since whenever and they've done previous middle east deals. But it was only noticed when made in connection with the SCOG story?

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something Odd about Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 03:13 AM EST
Just a thought... I may be barking up entirely the wrong tree here, but Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners, insofar as I understand them, invest money on the behalf of other people. Is there any reason why these "other people" actually need to be people, as opposed to large companies with large pockets? Companies that might have a reason to have a grudge against Linux and to keep the court case going, and who can certainly afford to send someone from their local (or nearest) office over to Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners with the necessary documentation and a request for the most complete anonymity? A certain software company's name has wandered into my head as a vague possibility...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something Odd about Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners - Updated 2Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 09:32 AM EST
Regarding the apparent discrepancy between the Norris statement and the MOU, the
phrase "ruse de guerre" comes to my mind.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another blogger's take
Authored by: E-man on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 11:08 AM EST
Matt Asay wrote in his blog that he had heard from some sources that Stephen Norris "has no money and a dwindling number of friends with money". Asay also said: "The more I look into this, the more I think Mr. Norris takes after Darl McBride: low on substance, high on hype.".

I don't know how reliable Asay or his sources are.

This quote from the Salt Lake Tribune (in PJ's article) "Norris expressed surprise Monday at the vehemence of the comments on blogs about his proposed investment..." doesn't do much dispel the notion that Norris is either dishonest or clueless, though.

[ Reply to This | # ]

$100M 'investment'
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 12:16 PM EST
The stenographers covering this turn of events are all pretty shoddy reporters if they keep mouthing the pat line of the '$100 Million investment.' It's a line of credit, people!

otoh, the only way it looks like an investment is if the principals never plan on recouping the money that they sink into SCO. The 'investment' is then for other purposes, as we suspect.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Richard III
Authored by: AJWM on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 12:32 PM EST
"Now is the winter of SCO's discontent
Made glorious summer by this Son of York
And all the clouds that low'r'd upon their house
In the deep bosom of SNCP's money buried."

Okay, so the last line needs a bit of work. But remember what happened to both
Edward and Richard (the sons of York) in that little tale. (And as I think on
it, there may be some similarities between Richard, and Yarro and McBride.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Norris File
Authored by: stats_for_all on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 01:32 PM EST
The Norris Cases and Partnerships

Stephen L. Norris and Mark Robbins, the partners in the SCO Group deal, were defendants in a Federal Civil Case filed in Utah by GMG Capital. This case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction after the complaint and a Norris declaration was filed. The docket is on pacer at 2:06-CV-876

Mark Robbins is a defendant in a on-going Federal Civil Suit filed by Utah investors in a bicycle buyout, "Madtrax Group, LLC". This business effort has also resulted in federal felony fraud charges against the lead salesman, Marc S. Jenson. The court case on pacer is Utah case 2:04-CV-867

Mark Robbins is a defendant in an on-going Federal Civil Suit filed by Vail Resorts in Denver, Colorado. Vail claims Robbins violated an exclusivity contract on the sale of Utah ski resort. The Colorado Case is: 07 CV 7264 http://www.peaks.com/TaliskerBrief.pdf http://www.courts.state.co.us/exec/m edia/cases/07CV7264amended.pdf

Norris is listed as a partner of Michael Staisil in Staisil Norris Partners, Ltd. This combination had a website that was live until Monday, and has been replaced suddenly with a parked page. Snpltd.com is not archived on wayback. Staisil Norris Partners had the wherewithall to be listed as one of four sponsor s of a 2007 Golf tournament in Omaha Nebraska featuing Tiger Woods: http://www.playersclubomaha.com/newpage.asp?id=108&page=1329&news ID=5018 I have saved text version of the now deleted web page.

Staisil shows up in SEC Edgar in relation to a now bankrupt fab company LMIC or LMII.pk He also show up in Skyfield Ventures, which bought a California delta swamp near Stockton to create an exclusive private hunting club. The property, MacDonald Island in the San Jaoquin Delta, currently on the market in a distress sale for 4.9 million. Staisil is a minority owner, with other California wheeler-dealer types in the lead.

Norris is listed as a partner of Forum Capital Group. This website was replaced with an unconstruction page about 2/21/08. http://forumcapitalgroup.com/ The key individual in Forum Capital appears to be Bret K. Bocook, JD who has a trace as a North Carolina real estate investor who has since moved to Washington DC and dreams of building "campuses" for the homeless. The 2006 and 2007 webpages are on wayback using the path www.forumcapitalgroup.com or precisely http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.forumcapitalgroup.com

Norris has a non-profit foundation, Stephen L. Norris Foundation, that apparently has not filed its required IRS 990 forms. Source: Guidestar search, registration required.

Norris is referred as owner of a business "76 & Madison" that is working with Hollywood Studios International, a film production company with offices in LA and Dubai. PR from Feb 2007 at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pwwi/is_200702/ai_n18630962 Norris Bio and Photo are available at : http://www.hsifilms.com/company.html HSI is a pink sheet stock, its 2005 annual report is available on the SEC Edgar site. It key person is Steve Saxton, who apparently has secured the interest of Saudi princlings for film production. I cannot find a business registration for "76 & Madison" HWYS.pk last 10-K is from 2005, Saxton has a Nevada business entity registration for some of the shell company names. At that time it had virtually no assets. Press releases describe HWYS.pk as in a filing for an IPO in Dubai soon, but it is not listed on the rather moribund DIFX stock exchange.

Mark Robbins is a key person in a Utah based real estate and structure finance investment business, American Institutional Partners (AIP) Source: http://www.aipcapital.com/ A much more detailed version for aip capital including bios is on a "backup" web site, in a flash based version, this is older because Alan Cottle now claims he has left the company: http://backup.rayelder.com/aip/aip.swf

AIP cites Peninsula Partners, LLC as a joint venture. Peninsula Partners is cited in the GMG court case as a Robbins and Norris venture.

AIP has links to a mysterious business Salt Lake City business, International Capital Group which specializes in loaning money based on the hedged security in the stock of smaller companies. A flash based site for ICG is here: http://icgstocklending.com/index.swf

[ Reply to This | # ]

It is a poker game
Authored by: Yossarian on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 02:02 PM EST
>So either he is saying that he hopes to settle with a big
>settlement in SCO's favor, which is obviously delusional.

My guess is that PJ does not play much poker.

Poker is not about how good your cards are but about how well
you bluff. Novell has 4 aces, IBM has 4 kings, SCO has
nothing. But it has a bluff - "my cards are so good that I'm
willing to bet $100,000,000 on them!" SCO/Norris expect
IBM and Novell to be so scared that they will just fold.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something Odd about Stephen Norris & Co Capital Partners - Updated 2Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 05:37 PM EST
Dear Editor:

It is interesting to read your speculation as to SCO. It is also quite
interesting
the amount of interest that the proposed re-capitalization has engendered.

First, let me set the record straight. In October 2005, I was considering
forming a co-investment partnership - to be called "Stephen Norris &
Company Capital Partners, L.P." (SNP – as stated on the un-authorized
website in question). The partnership would have raised a private equity fund
to take advantage of an opportunity I saw at the time to co-invest with
established private equity firms- many of whom are well known to me.

I had recruited a very accomplished team. Unfortunately, one of the groups
that were to participate in establishing the firm, GMG Capital Partners, did
not fulfill its obligations, the market opportunity was thus missed at the time,

and the
co-investment partnership never went forward. GMG would only have had a
minority interest in the general partner and one member of the investment
committee of the partnership had it been established and capitalized.

Nonetheless, GMG has continued to host the web site that was set up for the
co-investment partnership. That web site currently uses my name without
my permission, as well as the other names shown there, Stewart Paperin and
Pamela Newman, and otherwise contains false and misleading information,
notwithstanding my substantial efforts to have the site taken down.

Two days ago, General Clark was able to convince GMG to remove his name.
At the same time, other information was surprisingly added to the site by
GMG. One can only wonder why.

The answer is that GMG also filed a law suit in Utah sometime ago
maintaining that I should somehow be responsible for costs, fees and
expenses it incurred in determining whether a co-investment fund could be
established. They took this action notwithstanding that I had done everything
that I had agreed to do, and there was no contract or other agreement
requiring me to bear GMG's costs.
Moreover, I have been dismissed from the Utah action.

The company that has made a proposal to SCO is Stephen Norris Capital
Partners, LLC (SNCP)- a wholly different company. SNCP is a private company
that currently has no web site. I hope this helps to clarify the misperceptions

that might exist.

Stephen L. Norris

[ Reply to This | # ]

Beautiful Scam - Passing licensing costs on to DOD
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 2008 @ 08:11 PM EST
A defense contractor could easily pass on the SCO Source licensing costs to
any and all weapons that now use LINUX or UNIX.

This looks like another great way to pocket money by licensing every instance
of a virtual machine used by US Military Contractors or DOD employees, while
passing on the true licensing cost to the clueless Defense Department.

The buckets of Defense Money that SCO has so far been unable to collect will
appear due to collusion in the defense contracting establishment will quickly
fleece the US treasury with SCO's Licensing Initiatives.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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