London-headquartered private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has emerged as the front-runner to acquire US-based Epicor Software, in a deal that could value the enterprise technology business at over $3bn.
Texas-based Epicor develops application software for mid-sized companies in the retail, distribution and manufacturing sectors.
Negotiations between CVC and Epicor-owner Apax Partners are underway and nothing has been finalised, unnamed sources told Reuters. CVC's bid will compete with offers from other buyout firms.
Pursued by the news agency, both CVC and Apax refused to comment, while Epicor did not respond to a request for comment.
A deal for Epicor would mark CVC's second acquisition from Apax this year. In June CVC and Leonard Green & Partners agreed to acquire consumer marketing company Advantage Sales & Marketing from Apax for a little over $4bn (£2.3bn, €2.9bn).
A deal will also herald CVC's second software investment this year following the deal with Prague-based security software maker AVAST Software. The February deal valued AVAST at $1bn.
Epicor reported a revenue of $982m in the 12 months to March 2014, according to Moody's Investors Service.
In 2012, Epicor acquired Solarsoft Business Systems from private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners for $155m.
London-based Apax acquired Epicor in 2011, took it private, and merged it with another acquired technology peer, Activant Solutions, in a $2bn deal.