Dell’s Got a Happy Buyout Buzz

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After years of speculation, Michael Dell, CEO of Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), could be gearing up to take the company private. Two people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg on Monday the PC maker is in preliminary buyout talks with private-equity firms. In response to speculation, shares shot up over 13 percent.

The news comes at a critical time for the company. Dell’s heavy hand in the PC industry has moved from being a strength to being a weakness. Data from Gartner indicates that worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter fell 4.9 percent year over year. Dell claimed just 10.2 percent of the market compared to 12.2 percent last year, reflecting a 20.9 percent decline in shipments.

Even Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), which has been blasted by analysts, investors, and industry observers, increased its market share for the period. HP controlled 16.2 percent of the fourth-quarter market, and shipments fell just half a percent. Lenovo, a Chinese multinational electronics company, increased its quarterly market share to 15.5 percent, and grew its shipments by 8.2 percent…

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