Private equity talk sees Dell soar

SHARES in Dell have soared 13 per cent to a near eight-month high on reports the world's third-largest personal computer maker is in talks with at least two private equity firms about going private.

SHARES in Dell have soared 13 per cent to a near eight-month high on reports the world's third-largest personal computer maker is in talks with at least two private equity firms about going private.

The discussions between the PC maker, which has ceded market share to rival Hewlett Packard and China's Lenovo, and private equity are preliminary and financing has not been secured.

Dell is grappling with dwindling demand for traditional desktop and laptop computers with the advent of tablets like Apple's iPad.

The company, now reinventing itself as a provider of computers and services to corporations and government agencies, saw shipments of computers fall 21 per cent in the fourth quarter. Profits fell 47 per cent in the third quarter.

The company's market value stood at about $US19 billion ($18 billion) before Monday's rally.

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