Bain Capital, a private equity firm, is rumoured to be the most likely suitor to buy UK software firm Micro Focus.
Share dealers named the firm as the “likely predator”, according to the Financial Times, as reports circulated that a bid could value Micro Focus at up to £900 million.
Bain Capital declined to comment, and Micro Focus had not provided guidance at the time of writing. But financial market sources told Computerworld UK that the reports were "not outrageously wrong".
Speculation has been rife that the takeover was coming from a private equity firm. The most probable alternative was seen as a rival IT company, with both HP and IBM named as possible suitors, though traders have more recently said this was less likely.
However, no official announcement has been made, and an agreement may not be reached. It was expected, the FT reported, that any suitor would wait until after Micro Focus’s trading statement in mid-May – because the company tends to secure major contract renewals on the lead up to that date.
On Tuesday, Micro Focus revealed for the first time officially that it had received a takeover approach. The news sent the company’s shares soaring on the stock market. Shares closed up nearly seven percent at 360.8 pence that evening.
Micro Focus, based in Berkshire, focuses on helping firm customers upgrade from legacy systems and test new applications. It has history of upgrading businesses that use the Cobol programming language, amongst other systems.