U.S. data analytics firm Qlik Technologies Inc QLIK.O has begun exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale, after coming under pressure from an activist shareholder, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move comes after hedge fund Elliott Management Corp unveiled an 8.8 percent stake in Qlik earlier this month and said the company should be taken over by a larger technology rival.
Qlik is working with investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N) to explore its potential sale, the people said this week, asking not to be named because the matter is confidential. There is no certainty that Qlik will end up selling itself, the people added.
Qlik, Elliott and Morgan Stanley declined to offer any comment.
Qlik, with a market capitalization of about $2.43 billion, went public in 2010. It focuses on creating applications that help businesses analyze and visualize data to help them save money. It competes with a product from SAP SE (SAPG.DE) called Business Objects and Cognos, IBM Corp's (IBM.N) business intelligence software.
Analysts have said technology companies such as OracleCorp (ORCL.N) and IBM could be potential buyers for Qlik, which started in Sweden and is now headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Oracle declined comment while IBM could not immediately be reached.
If Qlik is sold off, it would be the latest in a long list of enterprise technology companies in recent years that have ended up been taken over after Elliott targeted them. Elliott has pushed for the sale of several companies that have ended up being acquired by private equity firms, such as Compuware Corp, Riverbed Technology Inc, Blue Coat Systems, and Informatica.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Tom Brown)