Avaya may become the next major technology firm purchased by private equity, according to a report today.

The Basking Ridge, New Jersey telecommunications gear maker's relatively high cash flow and low debt have made it a target of private equity firm Silver Lake and rival networking company Nortel Networks, the Wall Street Journal said, citing anonymous sources.

The company, which has a market capitalisation of $6.18bn, may be open to a partial or complete buyout, the report said. Along with a healthy balance sheet, the company also has a wealth of patents, some leftover from its days as the telecom equipment arm of AT&T.