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Mentor Graphics exploring sale, working with Bank of America

Mentor Graphics Corp, a company that makes software for designing semiconductors, is working with Bank of America Corp to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter quoted in a report by Reuters. Mentor has been under pressure since activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp reported an 8.1 percent stake in the company last month and said its shares were deeply undervalued. As part of the sale process, Mentor may reach out to 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. There is no certainty that a sale of Mentor will occur, the people cautioned. Mentor Graphics, based in Wilsonville, Oregon, and run by Chief Executive Wally Rhines, is no stranger to activist investors or takeover offers. Billionaire activist Carl Icahn won a proxy fight in 2011 that secured him three board seats, although he exited his investment in the company in April after six years.


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