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Vista Equity explores sale of software firm Aptean, say sources: Reuters

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners Management LLC is exploring a sale of Aptean Inc, hoping a deal will value the U.S. business software company at more than $1 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

A sale of Aptean would underscore the popularity of companies that help automate administrative operations for companies, just four years after Vista Equity acquired Aptean’s predecessor, CDC Software Inc, out of bankruptcy.

Vista Equity subsequently merged CDC Software with Consona Corp to form Aptean. The buyout firm is working with investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N) on a sale process for Aptean, the people said this week.

Aptean could decide to carry on with its prolific acquisition strategy or pursue a dividend recapitalization instead of a sale, one of the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Vista declined to comment while Morgan Stanley did not respond to a request for comment.

Aptean has annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $110 million, the people added. Its revenue increased 11 percent to $268 million in 2015 from a year earlier, the people said.

Based in Atlanta, Aptean offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that helps companies manage and track information across their departments, from finance and administration to sales and marketing. It serves more than 5,000 corporate customers.

Deal activity has been on the rise for ERP companies. Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) last month agreed to buy NetSuite Inc (N.N), a cloud-based ERP company, for $9.3 billion, and private equity firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) agreed to acquire Epicor Software for $3.3 billion.

In addition, buyout firm Thoma Bravo LLC is exploring a sale of Deltek Inc that it hopes will value the U.S. provider of software to government contractors at as much as $3 billion, Reuters reported last month.