AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong has reportedly approached private equity firms to gauge interest in a deal with Yahoo that would place Armstrong as the head of the combined company, according to a Bloomberg report.

CNBC later reported that a source close to Yahoo said the company had no interest in a deal with AOL.

AOL shares closed down 5.3 percent at $14.72 while Yahoo inched up 0.3 pct to $14.48.

Both former tech powerhouses have fallen on tough times and Reuters.com columnist John C. Abell says: “It’s impossible to know if anything short of IBM-like reinvention could have altered the course of these two companies so that the music playing now would still be more jazz than dirge.”

In other AOL-related news, Xconomy blogger Wade Roush argues that the “explosion of criticism” over TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s plans to create a startup seed fund has finally convinced Armstrong that “yoking a formal venture fund to a journalistic operation would make the (real or perceived) conflicts wholly unmanageable.”