Investment fund Blackstone has sent a letter to Dell indicating it was finalizing a countoffer to buy it out, a source told AFP. Billionaire Carl Icahn also notified the computer maker he was working on a firm bid, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website, citing people familiar with the matter. In February, Dell unveiled plans to go private in a $24.4 billion deal. The private equity buyout led by founder Michael Dell, backed by equity investment firm Silver Lake, would give shareholders $13.65 per share. The company had set a Friday deadline for alternative offers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Blackstone letter does not detail a bid but \"offers a range that is higher than the existing $13.65 per share offer but lower than $15 per share.\" The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, also reported the letter said Blackstone envisions potentially selling Dell\'s financial-services business to help fund the deal. GE Capital is seen as a \"likely buyer,\" it added. Spokespeople for Dell and Blackstone declined comment. An Icahn spokesman could not be reached. The Dell-led buyout plan would include a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. The move would de-list the company from stock markets and could ease some pressure on Dell, which is cash-rich but has seen profits slump as it tries to reduce dependence on the shrinking market for personal computers.