Peter Karmanos, owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, may have much more on his mind than hockey this month as he nears the end of his tenure as executive chairman of the board at Compuware.

He may be involved in selling the company.

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Karmanos is in the process of stepping down as executive chairman of the software firm he co-founded nearly four decades ago. It is based in Detroit and has an office in Durham.

Bloomberg news is reporting Tuesday that Compuware (Nasdaq: CPWR) has attracted buyout interest from private-equity funds including Apax Partners LLP and Hellman & Friedman LLC, according to people familiar with the situation.

Compuware, which rejected a $2.3 billion takeover offer from Elliott Management Corp. in January, also gave management presentations last week to other potential bidders, including Thoma Bravo LLC and Golden Gate Capital Corp., said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.

The first round of bids is due in two weeks, the people said Monday

Elliott has said new owners could do a better job unlocking the company’s value, citing the attractiveness of assets, such as mainframe software, collaboration technology, project- management tools and performance-management services for cloud and mobile applications. Compuware’s “execution, profitability and growth have meaningfully underperformed” under the existing management, Elliott said when making its offer.

The process is at early stages and a deal might not materialize, the people said.

Eric Kushner, a spokesman for Compuware, declined to comment. Representatives from Apax Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Thoma Bravo and Golden Gate Capital declined to comment.

Compuware rose as much as 7.3 percent in extended trading. The shares declined less than 1 percent to $11.65 at yesterday’s close, leaving them up 28 percent from a year earlier.

Bob Paul, chief executive officer of Compuware, said Elliott Management’s offer of $11 a share significantly undervalued the company, according to a Jan. 25 statement.

Compuware hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to review the bid after Elliott made its offer on Dec. 17. The New York-based hedge fund had an 8.72 percent stake in Compuware as of Feb. 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Compuware, which gained more than 20 percent since Elliott made its offer public, has an enterprise value of $2.48 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Reuters previously reported interest from Golden Gate.

Compuware recently detailed retirement plans for Karmanos in a rfiling with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 69-year-old is expected to become a consultant for Compuware, earning $600,000 a year.

The move to leave the company’s board is effective March 31.

Karmanos stepped down as Compuware’s chief executive in 2011.

He will be succeeded as nonexecutive chairman by Gurminder Bedi, the company’s lead independent director.

Karmanos moved Compuware’s headquarters from suburban Farmington Hills to a new building in downtown Detroit in 2002. He had said earlier that he was aiming to retire by 2013, when he turns 70 and the company turns 40.

“I’d like to leave with a really great flourish at the end,” Karmanos told The Detroit Free Press in an interview last year.

Compuware has an operation in Durham at the American Tobacco complex.

Karmanos believes the company could triple its market value to $6 billion by 2013.

Last week, the Hurricanes announced that more local investors had taken an ownership stake in the NHL franchise. 

Mark Rein, co-founder and vice president of Cary-based Epic, and his wife, Tara Rein, and Chuck Hammel, president and owner of PITT OHIO, a Pittsburgh-based trucking company, are among the new investors. Two other investors declined to publicize their ownership stakes in the team, Karmanos said.