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More Bankruptcy Filings and SCO Predicts a Bright Future for Itself
Monday, August 18 2008 @ 09:05 AM EDT

More bankruptcy filings. And there are upbeat chirpings in the air in Utah, with SCO proclaiming its own future brighter than they thought it would be, and you can read all about it in Tom Harvey's article in the Salt Lake Tribune, which calls SCO "the comeback kids". No bias there.

It might be a tad early for that title, methinks. IBM still looms on SCO's horizon, after all. Novell was a sideline. The main event has yet to occur.

SCO doesn't need as much money as they thought they would to give to Novell, so maybe Darl McBride can stay on as CEO after all, we learn. There's a new business plan that sounds like it has to do with calendars online and messaging, and ... well, read about FC Mobile Life, its project with FranklinCovey, for yourselves:

That type of transaction is essentially what happens with the FranklinCovey product FC Mobile Life, which provides near-instant communication for scheduling, delegating tasks and sending text, photos and audio, said Jeff Hunsaker, SCO president and COO.

"Our focus here is on collaboration, and it's real time. It's real-time collaboration with people you trust, with a group. We've kind of brought it all together. That's the value we bring here."

FC Mobile Life can work on BlackBerries and phones running Windows Mobile, with iPhone compatibility under development. The system interacts and updates information on a Web browser and smart phone. SCO also is working to integrate Microsoft's Outlook e-mail and calendar into the system.

So that's the plan. The new one. Real time collaboration with people you trust. Hmm. Trust ... People you trust. Hmm. Remember when they used to call Darl McBride "the Linux Killer"? Methinks that's still the real business plan. In his dreams.

It reminds me of what someone once wrote about an earlier business plan tried by FranklinCovey once before, when McBride worked there. Perhaps it's the right time now for that vision to succeed. Personally, I hope they sell so much they decide litigation is a waste of time and move on. They call it FC Mobile Life, but when they announced in April they'd be working together with FranklinCovey, SCO said it was about Me Inc, which they released in February of 2006, but announced in 2005. More from Harvey on what the future holds, according to McBride:

Just as SCO has found some breathing room, McBride's own future is more secure, if still unsettled.

Asked whether he will remain as CEO, McBride said, "As we move forward, at some point we'll have to answer that question. What I can say is I'm very committed to SCO stakeholders . . . to finish off this battle that we started five years ago. We believe it is time now to go in and get things finished off."

"Finished off." Well, this doesn't happen every day or even every year, but Mr. McBride and I agree. Enough already of SCO's litigious ways. We may not agree on what should be finished off, I guess. And I doubt it will be any time soon. They themselves plan to appeal to try again to get their yearned-for jury trial, and IBM won't be over in a hurry, and then there's AutoZone and Red Hat. So I don't know which "things" he has in mind to finish off, but I doubt it's going to happen any time soon. As I've told you consistently, this saga is far from over.

In the bankruptcy, Berger Singerman filed their quarterly application covering April through June, for a total of $125,885 and $3,622.77 in expenses. The two big categories of billable time were the reorganization plan/disclosure statement and "asset disposition/preservation".

I'd say 'disposition' has been humming along better than 'preservation'. The bankruptcy bills alone are staggering, mostly for reorganization plans that will never happen. Exhibit A says the firm:

"...researched and conducted multiple conferences with the Debtors with respect to merger and acquisition issues and structuring plan alternatives. The Firm worked on various revisions to the Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") in line with the new proposed structure for purchase of the company. In addition, the Firm worked with the Debtors on developing a business plan.

It took 63.80 hours to do that, in that one month alone, and of course the MOU will now, I gather, need to be scrapped or revised, since SCO is now saying they might not need to be bought after all.

According to SCO, they've invested millions in their mobile business in the last four years:

"The truth is the substantial amount of investment we've put into this mobile business in the past four years - it's in the tens of millions of dollars - is now ready to go into harvest mode."

I hate to be a wet blanket, but I wonder if the SCO SEC filings reflect that figure? Just asking. At first I thought that maybe they meant the Vultus development time and money, which the press release about Me Inc seemed to indicate:

Me Inc. has been a multi-year development effort by SCO and builds on technologies that the company gained through a Web Services technology acquisition in 2003.

But by saying "the last four years" I'd say he can only mean actual money for R&D by SCO after the Vultus acquisition.

The Salt Lake Tribune account gets the story a little bit simplified:

Shortly after that, SCO filed for bankruptcy and proposed a reorganization plan that included an investment of up to $100 million from a private-equity fund that would have taken control of the company. The fund, Stephen Norris Capital Partners, said McBride would not continue as CEO if the plan were approved by the bankruptcy court.

But in July, Kimball ruled that SCO owed Novell only $2.5 million, a figure that greatly reduced SCO's need for outside capital. That verdict also put SCO in a better position to appeal the case, with the company's leadership confident in its chances of overturning Kimball's 2007 ruling and getting the case returned to Utah for trial.

SCO was confident they'd win in the Utah District Court too, IIRC. All they wanted was their day in court. They got it. They lost. Now they want their day in appeals court, followed by *another* day in court. But they remain confident. So they say.

The simplification is this: the Norris reorganization plan was not the first. There was the reorganization plan filed and then withdrawn involving York. That one got dropped, because they weren't quite able to file all the necessary documents prior to the set deadline, because they said, they needed to determine what it was they were selling. Like stuff SCO didn't own, the UNIX copyrights that didn't pass to SCO under the 1995 deal with Novell. Oops. So that didn't work out.

*Then* came Stephen Norris. SCO announced that reorganization plan to the media and then filed a plan, a Memorandum of Understanding, with some issues raised about that, and a disclosure statement. Here's what SCO said about the MOU in an SEC filing:

On February 13, 2008, the Company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) with Stephen Norris Capital Partners, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“SNCP”), whereby, SNCP agreed to provide financing to fund the Company’s plan of reorganization filed on February 29, 2008 in the Company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. ...The Company on the same day filed its disclosure statement in connection with the plan of reorganization, under the terms contemplated by the MOU.

The MOU is not a definitive agreement. It is a non-binding summary of the intentions of the parties and is subject to change.

And nonbinding it proved to be, with SCO's attorneys announcing at the next hearing, after numerous objections were filed to the plan, that they were working on another deal with Norris, a better one, which would involve a buy out, not a loan. Now, they're talking about just financing again, if I've understood the article correctly. If it was Stephen Norris who wanted Darl gone as a condition of the deal, and now Darl says he might be able to stay on, is SCO telling us that the deal with Norris is history? Or that they are looking for merely a loan once again, instead of selling themselves off, so Norris can't dictate those terms? It's hard to keep up.

Getting back to the filings, there are some certificates of no objection to earlier bills, and I can't help but notice on Berger Singerman's quarterly bill that the expenses include, on page 5, a category "Out of Southern District of Florida Travel", but there is no airfare listed. The entire $3,172.09 expense was for "Taxi, Airport Transfers, travel meals." Hmm. Do they travel from Florida to Baltimore by taxi? Just asking. My best guess is that they put the number in the wrong box.

SCO's accountants, Tanner, have filed a quarterly, which means we've seen the billings before in their monthly bills, which are attached as exhibits, for a grand total for the quarter of $78,646 for their work from April 1 through the end of June, and $837.28 in expenses it wants reimbursed. It's now August, of course, so this isn't all Tanner would like from SCO. On page 2 of its filing, it lists a fee of an additional $14,450 for July, and that's a slow month for Tanner. June saw fees of $53,613. Mainly it's SEC filings and taxes, but there was a lot of work done regarding 401(k), which you can see in Exhibit C, page 6 of the PDF.

Here are the filings:

526 - Filed & Entered: 08/14/2008
Application for Compensation
Docket Text: Quarterly Application for Compensation (Third) for Services and Reimbursement of Expenses, as Accountants to the Debtors in Possession for the Period from April 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008 Filed by Tanner LC. Hearing scheduled for 9/16/2008 at 10:00 AM at US Bankruptcy Court, 824 Market St., 6th Fl., Courtroom #3, Wilmington, Delaware. Objections due by 9/3/2008. (Attachments: # (1) Notice # (2) Exhibit A# (3) Exhibit B # (4) Exhibit C # (5) Certificate of Service and Service List - Fee Application# (6) Certificate of Service and Service List - Notice Only) (Makowski, Kathleen)

527 - Filed & Entered: 08/14/2008
Certificate of No Objection
Docket Text: Certificate of No Objection (No Order Required) Regarding Tenth Interim Application of Berger Singerman, P.A. for Compensation for Services and Reimbursement of Expenses, as Co-Counsel to the Debtors in Possession for the Period from June 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008 (related document(s)[519] ) Filed by The SCO Group, Inc.. (Attachments: # (1) Certificate of Service and Service List) (Makowski, Kathleen)

528 - Filed & Entered: 08/14/2008
Application for Compensation
Docket Text: Quarterly Application for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses of Berger Singerman, P.A., as Co-Counsel to the Debtors in Possession for the Period from April 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008 Filed by Berger Singerman, P.A.. Hearing scheduled for 9/16/2008 at 10:00 AM at US Bankruptcy Court, 824 Market St., 6th Fl., Courtroom #3, Wilmington, Delaware. Objections due by 9/9/2008. (Attachments: # (1) Notice # (2) Exhibit A # (3) Exhibit B # (4) Exhibit C # (5) Certificate of Service and Service List - Fee Application# (6) Certificate of Service and Service List - Notice Only) (Makowski, Kathleen)

529 - Filed & Entered: 08/15/2008
Certificate of No Objection
Docket Text: Certificate of No Objection (No Order Required) Regarding Seventh Monthly Fee Application of Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC as Financial Advisors to the Debtors for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses for the Period from June 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008 (related document(s)[520] ) Filed by The SCO Group, Inc.. (Attachments: # (1) Certificate of Service and Service List) (Makowski, Kathleen)


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