Compuware may have a future after its leveraged buyout

Once Michigan's largest computer technology company, Compuware is now retreating from the public eye as it casts its fate with a private equity firm and an aging but still profitable technology — the mainframe computer. How long the company can continue as a stand-alone business employing hundreds of people in Detroit is an open question, but the new owner's "buy and build" philosophy could be promising for Compuware in the short term. Compuware's shareholders voted overwhelmingly last week to approve a $2.4-billion leveraged buyout of the company by a private equity firm called Thoma Bravo, which has offices in Chicago and San Francisco. It focuses on small and midsize tech companies. "It's too early to write the eulogy for Compuware," said Sudip Datta, T. Norris Hitchman Endowed Chair and interim chair of the Department of Finance at Wayne State University School of Business. "This is an opportunity to make some long-term restructuring decisions that might not pay off tomorrow, but could pay off in three to five years."

Detroit Free Press