Mandriva puts itself up for sale

According to a French report, Mandriva, maker of Mandriva Linux has put itself up for sale.

A snippet published on the site Boursorama, which purportedly comes from the minutes of a Mandriva board meeting from back in March says pretty much that the company has run out of cash.

The note ends: "La revente de l'entreprise s'affiche comme l'unique solution alternative à sa fermeture."

Which in our rusty French translates as: "the (re)sale of the company appears to be the only alternative to its closure."

Two companies are said to in active discussions with Mandriva with an eye to acquiring some or all of its assets. These are named as British company LightApp and French open source outfit Linagora.

Linagora CEO, Alexander Zapolsky, apparently admitted his company was sniffing around the remains of Mandriva. We've asked LightApp for a comment which we'll add to this story if it tips up.

Mandriva delivered this statement earlier today:

"Mandriva, from its very beginning, has been involved in takeover talks. Mandriva bought Edge-IT, Connectiva Inc and Linbox FAS and has been attracted by other possible ventures. Mandriva has also been in talks over merger possibilities or an eventual buy-out by investors. These negotiations has been pursued throughout the life of the company and continue.

"Mandriva has been affected by the economic slow-down and we took advantage of this period to develop and improve our products -- an operating system dedicated to a uniquely ergonomic server (MES5.1), the most reliable free machine-management software on the market (Pulse2), Mandriva Smart Desktop to simplify the use of office desktops, education-dedicated distribution, all embrace the Mandriva philosophy of alternative options.

"We are beginning to harvest the results of this development work with hundreds of thousands of PCs using the Mandriva OS sold in South America and rapid sales of Pulse2 and MES5 in Europe. So it is unsurprising that Mandriva has once again attracted the interest of industry decision-makers."

So yes, it's up for sale.