MICROSOFT is in talks to part-finance a plan to take Dell private, in a deal that could be the biggest shake-up of the computing industry in decades.
Last week it emerged that Dell had held talks with a number of private equity firms about a leveraged buyout (LBO) that would see the computer manufacturer leave the public markets as it tries to reshape its business.
Private equity house SilverLake is said to be leading the LBO, which could be worth as much as $20bn.
Such a deal is seen as too big for most firms, and it now appears Microsoft is in talks to invest about $2bn with SilverLake for the LBO. The move is a departure for Microsoft, which has traditionally shied away from hardware manufacturing and concentrated on software. In the past year, though, that has began to change.
It has brought the 'Surface' tablet out and, with its Dell investment, it would gain unprecedented control over manufacturing.