DAYTON, Ohio — Citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported on Christmas Eve that two private equity firms have emerged as the lead contenders to acquire Reynolds and Reynolds Co. The deal could be worth $5 billion.

According to the report, which cited three people familiar with the matter, Carlyle Group LP and KKR & Co. LP are the leading bidders for the privately held software company. Managing the sale is Qatalyst Partners, a technology-focused investment bank Reynolds reportedly hired in November.

The process, according to the report, is in its final stages, although no decision is expected before January, according to the report.

Deutsche Bank is also said to be helping Reynolds, which claims more than $500 million in annual earnings, with the potential sales.

Representatives with Qatalyst have not responded to requests for comment, and a representative with Reynolds and Reynolds decline to comment on the matter.

Founded in 1866 by Lucius Reynolds and his brother-in-law, Reynolds started as a company that printed standardized business forms. It didn’t begin serving auto dealers until the 1920s.

The company was purchased by Universal Computer Systems’ Bob Brockman, the company’s current chief executive, in 2006 for $2.8 billion. The buyout was funded primarily by a group of investors that included Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group, and Vista Equity Partners.