Buyout talks boost Dell

Michael J. de la Merced and Quentin Hardy / New York Times News Service /

Published Jan 15, 2013 at 04:00AM

Shares of Dell rose more than 12 percent early Monday afternoon after Bloomberg News reported that the personal computer maker was in talks with at least two private equity firms about going private.

A buyout of Dell would be worth more than $17 billion, based on its total enterprise value. The company has some $9 billion in debt, but $11 billion in cash at hand. A deal would make it the largest technology buyout since the $17.6 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor by a group of buyers led by the Blackstone Group in 2006.

The Bloomberg report, citing two people with knowledge of the matter, said the talks were preliminary. It cautioned that the firms might not be able to line up financing.

The report of the talks comes a week after a top Dell executive, David Johnson, who was in charge of the company’s corporate strategy, including deals, left to join the Blackstone Group.

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