July 28, 2016 / 11:46 PM / in a year

Exclusive: Thoma Bravo explores sale of software firm Deltek - sources

(Reuters) - Private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC is exploring a sale of Deltek Inc that it hopes will value the U.S. provider of software to government contractors at as much as $3 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

A sale of Deltek would underscore the popularity of companies that help automate administrative operations. Earlier on Thursday, Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) said it would buy NetSuite Inc (N.N), a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) company, for $9.3 billion.

Thoma Bravo is working with financial advisers, including investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), on a sale process for Deltek, the people said this week, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

Deltek and JP Morgan declined to comment. Thoma Bravo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Thoma Bravo took Deltek private in an all-cash deal valued at $1.1 billion in 2012.

Private equity firms see the ERP sector as lucrative. Earlier this month, buyout firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) said it would buy ERP firm Epicor Software from private equity firm Apax Partners LLP. That deal valued Epicor at $3.3 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Deltek, based in Herndon, Virginia, supplies the majority of the top 100 U.S. federal contractors, as well as some of the world's largest engineering, architectural, accounting and consulting firms with enterprise software and information solutions.

The software is used for administrative tasks such as revenue recognition, expenses, resources tracking and invoicing.

Earlier this month, Deltek announced it had bought Union Square Software, an engineering and architecture technology firm based in Nottingham, England.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

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