WALTHAM, Massachusetts ( TheStreet) -- Novell ( NOVL) is in advanced talks with at least two buyers, including VMware ( VMW), to sell the software company in separate pieces, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said VMware is looking to buy Novell's SUSE Linux operating system business. Attachmate, a private-equity backed software company, may end up buying some or all of the remaining assets, including Novell's network operating system NetWare.

The people told the Journal that Novell is most likely to sell its Linux business to VMware, but the two sides still differ on valuation. The Linux business would strengthen VMware's cloud computing offerings.

Novell put itself up for sale six months ago, the Journal notes, after hedge fund Elliott Associates made an unsolicited bid of $5.75 a share. Novell rejected the offer, but said it would be open to making a deal. Novell closed Thursday at $6.05.

The New York Post first reported Novell was nearing a deal.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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