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Private equity firms in talks to take computer group Dell private — report

US computer manufacturer Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) is holding talks with at least two private equity groups interested in taking the company private, Bloomberg reported citing a couple of knowledgeable sources.

The people said discussions were in their preliminary stage and might lead nowhere because the potential buyers could find it problematic to secure financing or settle on a future exit strategy. According to one of the sources, several big banks have been approached about providing funds for the transaction. Dell spokesman David Fink would not comment for Bloomberg.

Data compiled by the news agency puts Dell’s market value at USD18.9bn (EUR14.1bn) as of 11 January 2013. If the parties come to an agreement, this could become the biggest private equity deal in the tech sector since KKR & Co LP (NYSE:KKR) paid over USD25bn to take First Data Corporation private in 2007, Bloomberg said. It may also turn out to be the biggest deal in the computer sector since 202, when Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) parted with some USD19bn to acquire Compaq Computer Corp.

Founder Michael Dell, who returned as chief executive in 2007, holds a 15.7% stake in the company. According to remarks made in 2010, he had given thought to a going-private transaction, Bloomberg added.


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