New York investment firm offers to buy Compuware for $2.3 billion

Dec 17, 2012

A New York-based hedge fund said Monday that it wants to buy Compuware, Michigan’s largest technology company.

Elliott Management Corp. has offered to buy the company for $2.3 billion at $11-a-share. Elliott currently owns 8 percent of the Detroit-based software company.

The Detroit Free Press has more:

The hedge fund’s bid is a 15% premium over the company's closing price Friday of $9.53. But Elliott claims the price was “substantially inflated” from publicity over a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in late November, when Elliott started buying up additional shares.

Jesse Cohen, a portfolio manager for the hedge fund, told the Free Press that Compuware could benefit from large-scale changes to how it does business. However, it is too early to know for certain what those changes would be.

“Compuware has some incredibly good technology, but for years it’s been underperforming,” Cohen said in a phone interview. “It just hasn’t been run that well, and we feel there’s just an incredible opportunity for it to be taken private and to be fixed.”

Compuware said its board of directors will review the proposal with its legal and financial advisors.

Elliott said that Detroit was a favorable place to do business with the auto industry, but has not decided on the fate of the company's downtown headquarters and employees, the Free Press reports.

Founder of the company, Peter Karmanos Jr., stepped down as CEO in June, and will retire from his post as executive chairman next March.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom