Private equity firms mulling bid for Compuware -FT

(Reuters) – A number of private equity investors are studying the possibility of making a bid for business software company Compuware Corp, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Firms such as Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity Partners have approached Compuware about taking the company private, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

Other prospective buyers have also looked at Compuware and are at different stages of negotiations, the report said. Compuware is being advised by Goldman Sachs.

Thoma Bravo, Vista Equity Partners and Compuware were not immediately available for comment

Compuware shares were up 3.1 percent in premarket trading.

The company has been at the center of takeover speculation since it rejected a $2.3 billion offer from its largest shareholder, Elliott Management Corp, in January. It has held talks with several private equity firms.

Reuters reported in August that the company had renewed efforts to sell itself. But Compuware CEO Bob Paul told Reuters on Nov. 14 that the company had not received any takeover offer that was high enough for it to agree to a deal.

Activist investor Starboard Value LP has been pushing for a sale or a new restructuring plan. Starboard, which has a stake of just under 5 percent in Compuware, asked the company earlier this month to change the composition of its board and broaden its restructuring plan if it decided to remain independent.

A consortium led by Bain Capital LLC and Golden Gate Capital LLC agreed in May to buy Compuware rival BMC Software for $6.9 billion and has been interested in merging BMC with Compuware, though it has not yet made a concrete move.