Avaya's owners tried to sell the networking and telecoms provider to Oracle rather than take it public, according to reports.
Reuters says that Larry Ellison's biz behemoth held talks with Avaya's private investors in the first half of 2013, but talks "fizzled" in the last few months.
Oracle and Avaya both refused to comment.
Avaya was taken private by Silver Lake and TPG Capital in 2007 for $8.4bn, the largest leverage buyout for a computer-networking company.
It was the last big LBO before the economy went south after the credit and housing bubbles in 2008. The company filed for an IPO in 2011 but didn't follow through.
A deal with Oracle would significantly expand Oracle's hardware and networking businesses: Avaya's lines span from handsets to call-center VoIP systems, making the hardware and providing integrated communications through its services operation.
Oracle moved into hardware with its 2009 purchase of Sun Microsystems, giving it not just Java software but Sun's Sparc server business.
In Oracle's latest quarter, sales of hardware systems were down year-on-year by 14 per cent, to $669m.
Avaya is a loss-maker, reporting a net loss of $110m in Q4 2013, down from $166m in the corresponding FY2012 quarter, on revenues that fell eight per cent to $1.15bn. ®