(Pocket-lint) - Following recent rumours that Texas-based PC manufacturer Dell is set to remove itself from public trade and go private as a company, a new report says Microsoft is looking to help with the buyout.
According to CNBC's David Faber, Redmond-based Microsoft is looking to invest $1bn-$3bn in the buyout. Microsoft's investment wouldn't give it a huge stake in Dell, but would help add funds to complete a buyout.
Previous reports have said two private-equity firms are at the center of buyout negotiations. Preliminary talks are under way to set-up financing and investing options and now it appears Microsoft wants a share.
This isn't the first time Steve Ballmer and Co. have invested in other companies. Over the years, Microsoft has invested in Facebook, Barnes & Noble's Nook line, and even Apple in its heyday.
With Microsoft's recent focus on cranking out its own hardware, specifically the Surface tablet, it will be interesting to see how it influences Dell if the buyout takes shape.
Dell has been instrumental to Windows PC hardware over the years, once owning a majority of the market. However, the company lost a third of its value over the past year. The move to go private is said to be to help Dell reinvent itself, perhaps with Microsoft's guidance.
Pic: (cc) The CBI