BMC has agreed to be acquired by a private investment consortium headed by Bain Capital and Golden Capital, in a deal worth about $6.9 billion.

The deal, which had been rumoured for some time, is expected to close later this year, BMC said. However, BMC has the right to solicit better offers from third parties for the next 30 days and the acquisition is subject to shareholder approval.

BMC sells a wide range of IT system management software and is one of the so-called "Big Four" vendors in that area along with HP, IBM and CA Technologies.

The proposed acquisition price represents an "attractive premium" over BMC's stock price, and going private will give the company more flexibility and the ability to "invest more strategically to drive powerful innovation," BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp said.

The group led by Bain and Golden Gate is offering $46.25 per share.

BMC is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter earnings. It had $580.2 billion in revenue in the quarter ended December 31, a 5.8% increase, while net earnings fell 11.3% to $106.3 million. For the four fiscal quarters ended December 31, BMC had about $2.2 billion in revenue.

Company officials had reportedly begun looking into a sale last year. In October, BMC announced a $1 billion share repurchase programme and revealed that it had considered a range of options, including breaking up the company.

In recent years, BMC's product direction shifted toward the management of cloud computing environments. It has also launched a mobile IT self-service application called MyIT, and recently announced that demand for it is "soaring".