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Fujitsu Mulls PC Options Amid Lenovo Deal Talk

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Is Lenovo about to acquire the PC business of Fujitsu? Japanese firm admits it is considering options

The spun off PC business of Fujitsu could be a potential acquisition target for Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo, according to a number of media reports.

And Japan-based Fujitsu admitted it is “currently considering various possibilities” for the unit, as Japanese firms continue their retreat from the PC market.

PC Sale?

Reports that Lenovo is considering acquiring the PC unit of Fujitsu was first reported in the Nikkei newspaper.

It said the move would allow Fujitsu free to concentrate on the IT services sector, and at the same time consolidate Lenovo’s position as the world’s leading PC manufacturer.

It is reported that the two companies aim to reach a deal this month.

Fujitsu CelsiusApparently one option would have the Fujitsu group transfer its PC design, development and manufacturing operations to a Lenovo-led joint venture. Another option involves Lenovo taking a majority stake in Fujitsu’s PC subsidiary.

It is thought that as many as 2,000 Fujitsu staffers would been transferred under the move.

Fujitsu is not an insignificant player in the PC market. Last year for example it shipped 4 million PCs under the FMV brand worldwide, with Japan as its leading market.

The morribund state of the PC market is not helping matters for Fujitsu’s management team, as the PC business reportedly lost more than $96.5 million in its last fiscal year.

Fujitsu of course had already spun off its PC unit back in February, and talks of a potential three-way merger between Toshiba’s PC business, and Vaio have broken down, leaving Fujitsu to consider its options.

“Since yesterday, there has been media reports concerning Fujitsu’s PC business,” the firm said in a statement. “These reports are not based on any official announcement made by Fujitsu.

“In February of this year, Fujitsu split off its PC business and is currently considering various possibilities, including what is being reported, but a decision has not yet been made,” it said. “Fujitsu will promptly announce matters that require disclosure as they arise.”

PC Slowdown

In July analyst house Gartner warned that sales of PCs had fallen yet again as the market continues to struggle to rejuvenate itself.

The research firm said the number of PCs shipped worldwide numbered just 68.4 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 9.5 percent drop compared to last year.

Lenovo retained its spot as the top PC vendor worldwide in the quarter by taking 19.7 percent of the market, ahead of HP (17.4 percent), and Dell (14.0 percent), with Asus and Acer rounding out the top five.

Gartner also pointed out that business buyers are increasingly turning towards affordable thin/light notebooks, as sales of desktop PC continues to struggle.

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