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Vista Equity, Thoma Bravo vie for TIBCO Software-sources

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Vista Equity Partners and Thoma Bravo LLC are among a small group of private equity firms competing to buy TIBCO Software Inc, a business software company with a market value of $3.1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The buyout interest in the Palo Alto, California-based company increases the chances of it going private. Earlier this month, TIBCO announced it was exploring strategic alternatives with help from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

TIBCO is expected to review binding offers for the company in the coming weeks, the people said this week. While TIBCO's board is under pressure from activist investors to sell the company, there is no certainty it will do so, the people added.

The price that private equity firms would offer TIBCO could not be learned. The sources asked not to be identified because details of the sale process are confidential. TIBCO, Vista Equity and Thoma Bravo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, Greg Roumeliotis and Nadia Damouni in New York; Editing by Diane Craft)