The Blackstone Group is mulling a bid for Dell Inc. that could lead to a bidding war for the company.
The private-equity giant is among four groups that have looked at Dell's books as part of the computer-maker's go-shop period. Dell last month accepted a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout deal led by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, but other bidders have until Friday to make a better offer.
Blackstone, which employs former Dell mergers and acquisitions chief Dave Johnson, may make an offer as part of a group, Bloomberg News reports. Its interest is reportedly considered more serious that that of two computer-makers who have also signed confidentiality agreements with Dell, Hewlett Packard and Lenovo.
Carl Icahn is also looking at Dell's books.
A bid from Blackstone or another party could force Michael Dell and Silver Lake to increase their own offer; some suggest that Dell could fetch as much as 10% more than the accepted deal.