Mercury Interactive ( MERQ) is looking more and more like a takeover target. The tipoffs: The troubled, system software maker has put golden parachutes in place for its CEO and CFO in the event of a change in ownership and its 30% run-up in share value.According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mercury this week entered into an agreement with CFO Dave Murphy that provides for a severance of two years' base salary and target bonus (100% of base), continued benefits and accelerated vesting of options if he is terminated by a new owner. CEO Anthony Zingale was awarded a similar agreement in February. Meanwhile, shares of Mercury, which was delisted by the Nasdaq and removed from the S&P 500 in the midst of an ugly accounting scandal, continue to appreciate. On Jan. 4, its last day in the big leagues, shares of Mercury closed at $27.88; on Friday, Mercury closed at $36.50, a gain of 31%. Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan mentioned the filings in a note to clients published Friday, and concluded: "These agreements indicate the possibility that the company may be sold." Merrill Lynch has an investment banking relationship with Mercury. Mercury's well-regarded software is used to test, develop and optimize applications and information systems at large businesses. Potential acquirers, says IDC analyst Stephen Elliot, include Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), SAP ( SAP)and storage giant EMC ( EMC). While EMC sounds rather far afield, it's worth remembering that CEO Joe Tucci has been broadening the company's addressable market through acquisitions for some time. Last year, EMC puts its toe in the network management business by acquiring privately held Smarts for $260 million. Mercury would deepen that expertise and give it access to a large and ultraloyal customer base. However, it would be rather expensive, even for cash-rich EMC. Mercury's market cap is about $3.12 billion, while EMC's largest buys to date were Documentum for $1.7 billion and Legato for $1.4 billion.