NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AOL ( AOL) and several private-equity firms are in preliminary exploratory talks about making an offer to buy Yahoo! ( YHOO), the Wall Street Journal reports. Yahoo! shares were rising 15.1% to $17.55 in premarket trading Thursday. People familiar with the matter told the Journal that the discussions -- involving private-equity firms, AOL executives and financial advisers -- don't yet involve Yahoo! The conversations may not lead to an approach given the complexities in structuring a proposal, the people told the newspaper. Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone ( BX) are among the firms that have expressed interest in teaming up with AOL to buy Yahoo! or trying to take it private on their own, the people said, the Journal reports. At least two or three other firms could be interested in participating if a formal buyout proposal is developed. Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.