If there's one Linux company that has seen lots of ups and downs it's the Paris-based Mandriva S.A. They have a great distribution, but as a company, they've always been on shaky grounds. First a rumour, now confirmed: the company has put itself up for sale - which, as the community points out, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
DistroWatch highlighted the news, but tuxmachines.org already covered it the day before. The gist of the story, originating from the French Mandriva forums, is that the financial situation has deteriorated rapidly this year, and selling the company is the only remaining option. Two candidates are mentioned: the London-based lightapp Ltd, and Linagora from France.
The news is confirmed by Linagora itself, who posted a statement on their website, in French. My French is good enough to understand what the statement says; Linagora is looking to strenghten its position in France and the rest of the world, and is in negotiations with Mandriva regarding an acquisition. Heck, even if you've never studied French, you should get the gist here.
"LINAGORA est un acteur majeur de l'innovation et de l'édition Open Source et, est ainsi à la recherche de toutes les opportunités pour développer et renforcer sa position de leadership en France et dans le monde," the statement reads, "A ce titre, des discussions sont en cours avec Mandriva pour étudier le rachat d'une partie des actifs de la société."
This doesn't have to be a bad thing, the Mandriva community points out. "Folks, just because they're looking to sell doesn't mean it's necessarily bad," writes ruel24, "Honestly, Mandriva has never had a business sense about them. They make a great distro, and always have. What they lack is capital and direction, and hopefully someone will provide both."
Time will tell. Luckily, this is an open source company, so the Mandriva distribution will still be developed by the community no matter what the corporate future brings.