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Samsung May Offload PC Division To Lenovo

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

Exodus from PC market continues if report that Samsung is considering selling PC unit to Lenovo is true

Samsung Electronics could be about to offload its PC division to Lenovo, after it was reported that the two firms were engaged in talks.

It should be noted that Samsung has already sold its printer business to HP Inc for approximately $1.05 billion (£790 million), after the Korean giant decided to exit the consolidating printer market.

Samsung PC Unit

Samsung’s PC unit is perhaps best known for its tablet range, whilst its laptops tend to be pitched at the premium end of the PC market, despite many Windows-users being budget conscious.

Samsung has rarely revealed its financial figures for its PC unit, and now it has been reported by local news outlet the Bell (via the Investor website), that Samsung has been holding talks with Lenovo for months now as part of its strategy to divest itself of less profitable businesses.

Lenovo has reportedly hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to act as its representative, whilst Samsung has hired Paul Hastings as a legal advisor.

SamsungAccording to the Bell, the deal could be worth more than 1 trillion won ($850m or £683m), but it said that there has been little progress so far in the talks.

“Considering the close business relationship between PCs and printers, it seems quite obvious that Samsung, after its PC business sell-off, is withdrawing from the PC market,” a former Samsung executive was quoted as saying.

Samsung Troubles

It is no secret that Samsung is in a period of flux at the moment. Its offices in South Korea have recently been raided by police over a pension inquiry, and it is now under new leadership after management changes.

The firm has also been hurt financially after a number of Galaxy Note 7 devices, which had only been launched in August, caught fire.

As incidents of battery fires increased, Samsung issued a recall for the devices, and subsequently decided to permanently discontinue the Note 7.

Samsung’s reputation also took a hit last year when an independent Microsoft engineer alleged that Samsung’s PC software updater was deliberately blocking Windows Update from automatically installing patches and other upgrades potentially exposing users to hackers and malware.

Samsung denied the charge and said users had the option to allow Microsoft updates.

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