(Bloomberg) -- Buyout firm HGGC is exploring a sale of Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. that could value the typeface firm at more than $4 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

HGGC is working with a financial adviser to gauge takeover interest in the Woburn, Massachusetts-based company and is expected to launch a formal auction process in the coming weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

No final decision has been made and HGGC could opt to keep Monotype, the people added.

A representative for HGGC declined to comment, while Monotype didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monotype, which was taken private by HGGC in a $825 million deal four years ago, will be pitched to industry players and other private equity firms, according to the people. The company generates annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of more than $200 million, they said. 

Monotype has been acquisitive under HGGC’s ownership. In 2021, it acquired Hoefler&Co, whose typefaces include the Gotham font. In March, Monotype formed a partnership with design platform Canva, and in July it struck a deal to buy Tokyo-based Fontworks, a provider of Japanese type design, from SB Technology. 

With more than 150,000 fonts, Monotype Fonts is the industry’s leading font management platform, according to its website. The subscription-based service includes typefaces such as Helvetica, Univers and Frutiger.

--With assistance from Kamaron Leach.

(Corrects number of fonts in final paragraph)

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