Private equity firms are joining forces in the auction of BMC Software Inc, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, making it more likely that the business software maker will be taken private in a deal that would top $6 billion.

KKR & Co LP and TPG Capital LP have formed a consortium, the people said on condition of anonymity because the process is confidential. Bain Capital LLC and Golden Gate Capital have separately also teamed up for the auction, the people added.

The process is now past the first rounds of bids and management presentations are taking place, the people said, adding that final bids are expected in the next few weeks.

A BMC Software spokesman did not respond to a request for a comment. TPG and Golden Gate declined to comment while KKR and Bain did not respond to requests for a comment.

BMC, which competes with Oracle Corp, SAP AG, CA Inc and Compuware, was under pressure from Paul Singer's activist hedge fund Elliott Management to sell itself last year.

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