NEW YORK, N.Y. - Investors are running up the price of Yahoo shares after a report saying AOL and a group of private equity firms may bid for the Web company.

The stock climbed $1.19, or about eight per cent, to $16.44 in morning trading.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its website after the close of trading Wednesday that AOL Inc., Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group LP are exploring a bid.

The report says two or three other firms could also be interested in the deal.

The newspaper says the talks have not yet involved Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) and Yahoo Inc. have declined to comment. A deal would marry two companies that haven't been able to improve their financial performance amid relentless competition from other online destinations like Google, Facebook and Twitter.