Starboard said it holds shy of 5% of the software company (in June it reported a 4.2% holding), which has been under some pressure from its largest shareholder, Elliott Management Corp., since last December.
Activist Elliott offered $11 per share for the company at that time and, in response, Compuware announced a cost reduction plan, a spinoff of its cloud supply-chain management business Covisint and a 50 cent dividend. The Covisint initial public offering was completed and Compuware retains roughly 80% of the company, worth about $300 million.
Elliott entered a standstill in February, which it extended in July to Sept. 15. That standstill has since expired. In the interim, Elliott joined forces with an investor group led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital and including Insight Venture Partners and GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd. in the buyout of IT software company BMC Software. Elliott, which held 9.6% of BMC, had previously agitated for a sale of the company and joined the PE group just prior to the shareholder vote for the buyout. That deal closed in September.
The potential sale of Compuware was considered on hold while the BMC buyout was in process and Elliott was under the standstill agreement. Some analysts have considered Compuware to be a complimentary and strategic fit for BMC.
A source familiar with the BMC buyout said that deal offers a lot of room for the PE group to create value from its asset base and that, while the Compuware add-on concept has logic, it is not a must-have for the BMC opportunity to pan out. But Compuware might be attractive at the right price, the source said.