Microsoft may invest $3bn in Dell private equity buyout

Microsoft was tonight thought to be mulling a possible investment of between $1bn and $3bn (£1.9bn) to help take Dell private, as speculation swirls regarding a potential $25bn leveraged buyout of the PC manufacturer.

Dell shares rose after reports of possible interest from the Redmond-based software firm, whose Windows operating system has long been tied with Dell's range of computers. Earlier, the hardware giant's founder, Michael Dell, was said to be in talks with the private equity firm Silver Lake to buy out the company's public shareholders. The value of the potential buyout has been pegged at between $23bn and $25bn, with CNBC reporting today that Microsoft could chip in with as much as $3bn.

Once a star of the technology world, Dell has been struggling as the overall demand for PCs shrinks, with consumers switching to mobile devices.

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