Fujitsu Ltd. says it’s in talks to sell its personal-computer arm to industry leader Lenovo Group Ltd.
The move will accelerate the Japanese company’s withdrawal from the mass-market PC business, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“We are considering various options for the PC unit, including a possible deal with Lenovo,” the newspaper quoted Fujitsu as saying in a statement following Japanese reports about the deal.
Beijing-based Lenovo accounted for 21.1 percent of global PC shipments in the second quarter, followed by HP Inc.’s 20.7 percent, the Journal said, citing figures from technology research firm IDC, while Fujitsu was ninth place with a 1.1 percent share.
The two companies aim to reach a deal this month, with some 2,000 Fujitsu workers likely move to Lenovo, Reuters said, citing a report from the Nikkei business daily.
Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad PC business from International Business Machines Corp. in 2005, and took over the PC business of NEC Corp. in 2011.
The Fujitsu deal could follow the structure of the NEC transaction, a person familiar with the discussions told the Journal.
That means Lenovo would buy the majority of Fujitsu’s PC subsidiary, which was spun off from the Fujitsu parent in February, and then lead the business with Fujitsu retaining a minority stake, the source said.
In an effort to improve profitability and slim down its business, Fujitsu chief executive Tatsuya Tanaka has tried to focus on higher-margin service businesses such as organizing banks’ computer systems or providing data to help farmers grow crops more efficiently, the newspaper said.
Fujitsu had initially negotiated with Toshiba Corp. and unlisted Vaio Corp., which was spun off from Sony Corp,. for a three-way merger of their PC businesses.
But the talks fell through earlier this year as the companies were unable to agree on the details, Reuters said.
Global demand for PCs has been squeezed by sales of smartphones and tablet computers, the news agency said.
In the second quarter of this year, worldwide shipments of PCs were stronger than expected, but nonetheless shrank 4.5 percent from a year earlier to 62.4 million units, IDC said.
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