(Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp. is in talks to buy software company Apptio as part of a deeper push into automation technology, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The parties are discussing a price in the range of $4.5 billion to $5 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. Apptio is currently owned by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners.

A spokesperson for Vista declined to comment. Representatives for IBM didn’t have an immediate comment. The two sides are in advanced talks and an agreement could be reached over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.

Apptio, founded in 2007, sells online services that help manage information-technology budgets, forecasting and analysis. The majority of Fortune 100 companies use its products, the company said on its on website.

IBM Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna, who took charge in 2020, has continued to shake up the 112-year-old company. After the acquisition of Red Hat in 2019, IBM split off its Kyndryl business in 2021 and then divested the Watson Health division. He said last month that IBM is still focused on deals, but that they would likely be smaller than the $34 billion Red Hat acquisition.

It isn’t clear whether the roughly $5 billion purchase price for Apptio would include debt, the Journal reported.

--With assistance from Tom Giles.

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