Exclusive-Business software company Alteryx explores sale -sources

By Milana Vinn

(Reuters) - Alteryx Inc, a data analytics software company with a market value of $2.5 billion, has been working with an investment bank to explore a potential sale after attracting takeover interest, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fierce competition from big rivals such as Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp, as well as setbacks in winning new business, have suppressed Alteryx's valuation and made it an acquisition target. Its shares had lost almost half their value in the last 12 months prior to news of its exploring a sale.

The Irvine, California-based company is being advised by investment bank Qatalyst Partners on its discussions with potential acquirers, which include private equity firms, the sources said.

Insight Partners, an early investor in Alteryx which has retained a 1.5% stake in the company and representation on its board of directors, has recused itself from the sale deliberations because of its interest as a potential acquirer, one of the sources said.

Alteryx co-founder and Executive Chairman Dean Stoecker, who owns 11.5% of the company but controls it through dual-class shares that give him 51% of all outstanding shares' voting power, is considering the possibility of rolling his stake in any deal, that source added.

Expressions of interest that Alteryx has received thus far have not met its valuation expectations, and the company may decide against any transaction, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the matter is confidential.

Alteryx and Qatalyst did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Insight Partners declined to comment.

Alteryx shares ended trading on Wednesday up 14% on the news at $34.58.

Alteryx, which debuted in the stock market in 2017, counts more than 8,300 companies as its customers, including Coca-Cola Co, Vodafone Plc, Walmart Inc, and Ford Motor Company. Its platform allows businesses to quickly analyze and crunch data.

In recent years, Alteryx has transitioned to a subscription-focused business model as part of a strategy to tap into growing demand for data analytics services.

In its most recent quarter, Alteryx posted a net loss of $120 million due to higher sales and marketing expenses. The company has been revamping its sales operations, including with training and coaching, after losing its North America sales chief and recording slower growth in signing up new customers.

(Reporting by Milana Vinn in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Stephen Coates)