Infor working with Morgan Stanley after investment interest: Reuters

(Reuters) — Infor Inc, a business software company which could be valued at more than $9 billion including debt, is working with Morgan Stanley to handle approaches from buyout firms interested in acquiring a stake, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move follows a string of deals in the enterprise software sector, including Oracle Corp‘s $9.3 billion deal in July to acquire NetSuite Inc, which has driven private equity firms to review such holdings in their portfolios and scour the market for new assets.

Golden Gate Capital and Summit Partners, the private equity firms that own Infor, may choose to pursue a debt investment or other ways to bring on additional investors besides a sale of a minority equity stake, the people said this week.

An initial public offering could also be an option, the people added, noting that the deliberations of Golden Gate and Summit are still at an early stage. While private equity firms are expressing new interest in Infor, many companies and investors have made overtures to Infor over the years, the people added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Golden Gate Capital and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Infor and Summit Partners did not respond to requests for comment.

Based in New York, Infor helps companies automate business processes. It offers specialized software licenses to specific sectors, as opposed to selling one product to all its customers across industries. It competes with Oracle, SAP SE and IBM Corp.

Golden Gate, which has a perpetual buyout fund structure with no finite investment period or fund life, has owned Infor since 2002, when it acquired one of its predecessor companies, Agilisys. The company changed its name to Infor in 2004, when Agilisys acquired German firm Infor Business Solutions AG.

Under Chief Executive Officer Charles Phillips, a former president of Oracle, Infor has sought to shift its business model to software-as-a-service, or software subscriptions delivered over the cloud to customers, as opposed to software installed on computers.

The company has grown quickly through acquisitions in various markets, such as manufacturing, healthcare, automotive and more.

In its last fiscal year ended April 30, Infor generated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $750.2 million, down about 5 percent from a year earlier, a regulatory filing showed.

The company has about $5.6 billion in long-term debt.