Microsoft in talks with Dell over multi-billion dollar buyout

Microsoft is being linked with a buyout of PC mainstay Dell, with a number of sources confirming that talks are ongoing this week.

With private equity firm Silver Lake Partners working with Dell to take the company private, Microsoft has been drawn into talks and may invest between $1 billion and $3 billion in a buyout, equating to around £630 million to £1.8 billion.

The big-money move seems a distinct possibility, with both Reuters and CNBC citing confirmation of talks from sources close to the matter. CNBC suggests a deal could even be concluded by the end of the week.

The buyout would provide a welcome switch of attention for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who was caught up in acrimony yesterday as a former company exec lambasted his leadership of the software giant.