Dell Said to Near Buyout

Microsoft planning to provide part of the funding.

Dell Inc. is getting closer to clinching a leveraged buyout with Silver Lake Management LLC, and Microsoft Corp. is planning to provide part of the funding, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Silver Lake and Dell are negotiating a price in the range of $13.50 to $14.25 a share, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Microsoft is discussing contributing about $2 billion for the deal, which could be announced this week, the person said.

PC Slump

Computer makers and Microsoft are facing a prolonged downturn as PC shipments are forecast to drop for the second year in a row in 2013. They fell 4 percent in 2012 and will slide a further 1.5 percent this year, JPMorgan analysts estimate. Tablet sales rose 72 percent last year and will surge 54 percent this year, JPMorgan forecasts.

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