Lenovo, the Chinese PC vendor that acquired IBM's PC business more than ten years ago, is to acquire a majority stake in Fujitsu's PC business for a price of up to £187m.
In comparison, Lenovo paid around $1.7bn to take IBM's PC division off its hands at the end of 2004.
HP Inc recently overtook Lenovo to become the world's largest PC manufacturer in a volume business with notoriously tight profit margins. The deal is a clear sign that Lenovo remains intent upon remaining a major in PCs.
The companies announced the news as a "strategic collaboration" and "joint venture" involving the Development Bank of Japan. They will jointly research, develop and design new client computing devices for the global PC market.
Lenovo has taken a 51 per cent stake in Fujitsu Client Computing Limited, which has been operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu. Meanwhile, DBJ has been given a much smaller, five per cent stake.
The transaction will close in the first quarter of 2018 and, as part of the deal, Lenovo will initially pay the company £118m (¥17.85bn). And DBJ will pay £16m (¥2.5bn).
However, if the business performs well up to 2020, Lenovo has said it is willing to up the payment to £168.6m (¥25.5bn). When this process is completed, FFCL products will still be named under the Fujitsu branding.
As well as this, the firm will continue to work with its channel partner network to support corporate customers worldwide. Its after-sales programme will remain open.
Both companies will "strategically" work together to grow the PC market in Japan and across the world. Lenovo hopes to capitalise on its previous rival's research and manufacturing prowess.
DBJ is looking to support the growth of Fujitsu's PC arm, offering financial expertise and support from the perspective of a growing financial institution.
"Through this strategic collaboration, Fujitsu and Lenovo aim to drive further growth, scale and competitiveness in the PC businesses both in Japan and worldwide," the companies said in a statement.
"The joint venture will leverage Fujitsu's capabilities in global sales, customer support, R&D, highly-automated and efficient manufacturing and systems integration that meet customers' demand. Furthermore, it will benefit from Lenovo's global scale and presence.
"Fujitsu will continue to offer a high-quality, innovative, secure, and reliable Fujitsu-branded portfolio to its corporate customers worldwide, contributing to their digital transformation journey, and co-creating the workplace of the future by integrating PC offerings with Technology Solutions."
Bloomberg claims that Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing is looking to shift away from its previous mobile focus. Despite buying Motorola from Google in 2014, the company's mobile business hasn't made significant progress outside of China.
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