Compuware switches to private ownership

Thoma Bravo is purchasing the enterprise infrastructure software for $2.5 billion

Freeing itself from the fetters of public-investor expectations, IT infrastructure company, Compuware, is becoming privately held, with equity investment firm, Thoma Bravo, purchasing the company outright for approximately $US2.5 billion.

"Compuware is now best suited to focus on its core mainframe and [application performance management] businesses as a private-equity backed company, " said Bob Paul, Compuware CEO, in a statement, adding that the move will give the company more flexibility to manage its business with a long term vision.

Current shareholders of Compuware will get an aggregate value of approximately $US10.92 per share, a 17 per cent bump from the company's stock price at the close of trading on Friday.

Another IT infrastructure company that became privately-held after being publicly traded was BMC, who went through the process in 2013. BMC officials have said that being free from the quarterly expectations of shareholders allows the company to make longer-term investments in new technologies and markets.

The Compuware board of directors has unanimously approved the agreement, which is still subject to approval by Compuware's shareholders, as well as by regulatory bodies.

Founded in 1973, Compuware specializes in application performance management software, as well as software for managing mainframes. The company has about 7100 enterprise customers worldwide. For its fiscal year 2014, ended March 31, Compuware generated approximately $US720.8 million in revenue, down 0.4 per cent from the previous fiscal year. In September 2013, Compuware spun out Covisint, which now provides cloud management software, in an initial public offering.

Thoma Bravo had also invested in BMC before that company went private, and also owns stock in storage giant EMC. The firm manages about $US7.5 billion worth of investments.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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