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Compuware Selling Project Management, Service Businesses

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(Updated at 12:12 p.m., with job numbers for the business unit and the fact that those jobs are expected to remain in Detroit.)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Under pressure to boost profits from activist shareholders, Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) Wednesday announced the sale of its Changepoint project management, Uniface application development software and IT services business.

The purchase price is $160 million and the buyer is the Los Angeles-based private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners. The deal is expected to close by Jan. 31, Compuware said.

Most of the jobs involved in the transaction are expected to remain in Detroit, Compuware spokeswoman Lisa Elkin said.

In a statement, Compuware CEO Bob Paul called the deal “another step in the strategic transformation we embarked on just a few years ago. This development, combined with our cost-cutting initiatives, will accelerate the pace of the company’s topline revenue growth and result in future profitability gains.”

Paul called Changepoint, Uniface and professional services “solid businesses” that “were important components of the company’s evolution. This move will enable them, as independent operating units, to flourish.”

The deal also lets Compuware focus on its faster-growing application performance management technologies and mainframe software businesses, Paul said.

Compuware’s Changepoint business is based in Toronto, while its Uniface business is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Elkin said Changepoint has 230 employees, just seven of whom are in Detroit, and Uniface has 112 employees, of whom five are in Detroit.

The professional services business unit, Elkin said, has 912 employees, of whom 621 are in Detroit.

“The jobs that are in Detroit are expected to remain here,” Elkin said.

Compuware faced an $11-a-share takeover bid in December 2012 from Elliott Management, a hedge fund controlled by New York billionaire Paul Singer. Compuware eventually reached an agreement with Elliott to take steps to boost profits and add outside directors who it’s assumed would be tougher on company performance, including cutting $80 million to $100 million in costs over two years. The cuts involved the layoff of 160 employees and the closure or cutting of 16 offices. But according to press reports citing unnamed sources, other private equity firms are still considering bids to buy and break up Compuware.

Compuware is also mired in a lawsuit from co-founder and former CEO Peter Karmanos Jr. over his criticism of the company’s management and its reaction to the hedge fund’s demands and the resulting cancellation of a consulting agreement.

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