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Sat Oct 25 20:15:55 SAST 2014

Dell said to be near buyout deal worth up to $24 billion

Sapa-AP | 05 February, 2013 15:15
Dell Inc. founder and chief executive Michael Dell smiles during a business conference organised in New Delhi in this March 22, 2011 file photo.
Image by: B MATHUR / REUTERS

Shares of Dell climbed in premarket trading Tuesday on reports the personal computer maker is nearing a deal to go private worth between $23 billion and $24 billion.

The transaction is said to involve a group including Microsoft Corp., private equity firm Silver Lake and CEO and company founder Michael Dell.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, says the price being discussed is between $13.50 and $13.75 per share. This would be better than the $11 per share the stock was hovering at before word of the buyout talks trickled out last month, but a steep markdown from the shares' price of $26 less than five years ago.

Dell's stock closed at $13.27 on Monday.

Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the Round Rock, Texas company does not comment on speculation.

Representatives for Microsoft and Silver Lake could not be immediately reached.

A deal would end Dell's nearly 25 years as a publicly traded company and give it the chance to attempt a turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.

Dell Inc.'s stock gained 9 cents to $13.36 in premarket trading.

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