Mentor Graphics to explore strategic alternatives

Electronic automation software dewveloper Mentor Graphics Corp is working with Bank of America Corp to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Oregon-based Mentor may invite major industrial companies with software operations, such as Siemens AG and Dassault Systemes SA, as well as private equity firms, to gauge potential acquisition interest, the report said.

Mentor, which has constantly been a target by activist investors, has recently come under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which holds an 8.1 per cent stake.

Elliott Management, a $28-billion hedge fund founded in 1977 by Paul Singer, has said Mentor's stocks were highly undervalued.

In 2011, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn offered to buy the company for $1.86 billion in order to invite competing bids.

Mentor, which has a market cap of $3 billion, was founded in 1981 by a group of computer professionals at Tektronix, Inc, the largest electronics manufacturing company in Oregon.

It is among the world leaders in electronic design automation, the use of computer software to design and analyse electronic components and systems.

Mentor designs, manufactures, and markets software used in a number of industries, including aerospace, consumer electronics, computer, semiconductor, and telecommunications.

Software produced by Mentor helps engineers in all of these industries in developing complex integrated circuits. Missile guidance systems, microprocessors, and automotive electronics are among the products designed with the help of Mentor's software.

The company employs 4,425 people worldwide, and generates annual sales of $1.18 billion.