Tibco Software Inc., the tech company founded by Sacramento Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive, is reportedly exploring a sale and has hired a leading investment bank to consult.
Bloomberg News, quoting anonymous sources, said Tibco has already spoken to two private-equity firms that could be potential buyers: Bain Capital and KKR & Co.
Tibco, in an announcement Wednesday, said it has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. and the Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini to help it explore “a variety of strategic and financial alternatives.”
Such language is often used when a company is putting itself up for sale.
It wasn’t immediately clear what impact, if any, a sale of Tibco would have on the Kings. Team spokeswoman Laura Braden said the Kings would have no comment.
The news followed months of speculation that Tibco, whose fortunes have sagged lately, could be examining a sale.
Founded in 1997, Palo Alto-based Tibco has been a pioneer in the field of database software. The $1 billion-a-year company makes software that helps airlines manage everything from flight crews to baggage and meals, and enables FedEx customers to track the progress of their shipments online. Tibco technology has been incorporated into the new smartphone apps introduced by the Kings, and Ranadive has vowed to make the team’s new arena at Downtown Plaza a high-tech experience for fans.
But in the past year, revenue growth has slowed and profits have fallen. The company’s sixth largest shareholder, a firm called Praesidium Investment Management, has urged Tibco to sell.
Bloomberg said the company’s stock price has dropped 30 percent in the past two years, although news of the strategic review sent the price up $1.25 Thursday, to $22.30, in Nasdaq trading. By the close of trading, however, the stock had settled back at $21.62, up 57 cents.
Ranadive announced that a special committee of three outside board members will work with Goldman Sachs and the Wilson Sonsini firm.
“Following a detailed evaluation over the past several months, we have determined that it is prudent to undertake a wide review of strategic and financial options to see which … are in fact the best way to maximize shareholder value,” Ranadive said in a prepared statement.
He said the company could remain independent.
Ranadive led a group of investors that bought the Kings and prevented their proposed relocation to Seattle. The purchase valued the franchise at what was then an NBA-record $535 million. That record has since been eclipsed by the purchases of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.
Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.