The hedge fund Elliott Associates said Tuesday afternoon that it had made an offer to buy Novell in a deal that valued the business software company at about $2 billion. Elliott said it would pay $5.75 a share in cash for Novell, a price that is 21 percent higher than Novell's closing stock price on Tuesday. Wall Street's initial response to the bid, announced after the stock market closed, was to anticipate the possibility of a higher offer.

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