A private equity firm gave Captaris a $125 million bear hug on Monday, stepping up pressure on the Bellevue-based software maker to find...

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A private equity firm gave Captaris a $125 million bear hug on Monday, stepping up pressure on the Bellevue-based software maker to find itself a buyer.

The bid came in response to Captaris’ Monday announcement that it would review unsolicited takeover offers.

In an open letter to Captaris’ board of directors, San Francisco-based Vector Capital said it would pay $4.75 per share, a 36 percent premium from Friday’s close. The offer, which includes a 30-day period to seek a better deal, is good until April 4.

Vector has been in discreet talks to acquire the maker of document management software since September, but grew frustrated at the company’s demurral and at what it termed “poor” management decisions. Vector also expressed dismay at Captaris’ deflating stock price, which fell 36 percent between Sept. 12 and March 14. The private equity firm is Captaris’ biggest shareholder, owning about 10 percent of its shares.

“It is imperative that the company be sold now and further erosion to shareholder value be prevented,” the strongly worded letter said.

The letter also said Captaris’ Monday release announcing that it has retained investment bank RBC Capital Markets to help study unsolicited offers is a delaying tactic.

“Given your history of delays and broken promises, we are understandably wary of the depth of the company’s commitment to its sale,” the letter said.

Captaris Chief Financial Officer Peter Papano said the strategic review was not “a delaying tactic at all” and that the company is committed to enhancing shareholder value.

“We just want to go through an orderly and efficient process,” he said.

Other firms have expressed an interest as well, Papano said. “We think that’s good news for our shareholders,” he said.

Captaris’ shares soared to $4.21, up 21 percent, in the wake of Vector’s statement.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com