A Few More Crumbs Along the RBC Trail

Thursday, October 23 2003 @ 01:02 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

A lot of folks have been asking why the Royal Bank of Canada would invest in SCO. Some are unhappy about it:

"'This is an irresponsible decision that the Royal Bank is making, both financially and morally,' said Mike Gifford, co-founder of Ottawa-based Linux firm Open Concept Consulting. 'I can't understand why any bank would decide it was a good decision to go off and invest in a failing company that's pursuing a very weak legal argument against a community of developers.'

"RBC spokesman Chris Pepper refused to explain the investment, or how it would respond to any potential complaints from customers who make their living selling open source products. 'We have a policy of not commenting on anything we do for clients,' he said.

"SCO Group spokesman Blake Stowell said BayStar Capital is a private equity crossover fund that makes direct investments in late stage privately held companies, but he had few details surrounding RBC's involvement. 'I'm not sure who approached whom,' he said."

One explanation may be that this isn't the first time RBC has been involved in business with a Canopy Group company. If you note this August 13, 2003 press release from Altiris, you'll see that RBC was one of the underwriters for Altiris' recent stock offering:

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 8/13/2003

"Altiris, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRS) today announced that it has priced the sale of 3,000,000 newly issued shares of its common stock by the Company and 2,000,000 shares of its common stock by a selling stockholder at $18.75 per share. The Company will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholder. The Company has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any.

"Credit Suisse First Boston is acting as lead manager in the offering, and the co-managers are Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets, First Albany Corporation and D.A. Davidson & Co."

Wait. Deutsche Bank is listed too, along with RBC. Hmm. That's the same Deutsche Bank that recently put out a buy recommend on SCO that briefly sent the SCO stock price up to the clouds above. If you check the Altiris SEC Amended Registration Statement for Form S3, sure enough, both companies are listed.

And then one more crumb. According to this article in CSO Online, Microsoft's new chief security officer comes to them from RBC:

"'You can have great security without privacy I suppose,' says Peter Cullen, former chief privacy officer of Royal Bank of Canada and newly appointed chief privacy strategist for Microsoft, 'but you can't have great privacy without great security.'"

Well, well, well. Small world, isn't it?

Then, just so you can't say Groklaw isn't thorough, here's one more piece. One of the directors of RBC is Douglas T. Ellis, Senior VP at IBM.

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