US regulators have finally given the nod to the massive US$1.75 billion buyout of IBM’s PC business by Chinese giant Lenovo.
The companies said today that the US Committee on Foreign Investment had reviewed the deal and found it satisfactory, clearing the way for the sale’s completion.
The deal will make Lenovo the world’s third largest PC business.
Steve Ward, current general manager at IBM’s Personal Computing Division (PCD), said Lenovo would have worked well with the American committee.
“The new Lenovo will be an innovative, international company delivering the best PCs in the industry,” he said. “IBM and Lenovo are moving quickly to integrate the companies and expect to finalise the transaction in the second quarter [of 2005] as planned.”
Ward said customers would keep getting the same good service from IBM and Lenovo while the sale was completed.
As part of the deal, IBM has promised to give sales support and demand generation services for Lenovo product through IBM’s existing enterprise sales force of 30,000 around the globe and via IBM.com.
Lenovo products would also be sold through IBM PC specialists who would join Lenovo. IBM Global Financing and IBM Global Services would be preferred providers of leasing, financing, warranty and maintenance services for the new Lenovo, the companies said.
As previously reported in iTnews, Lenovo has been seeking opportunities to go global. The Chinese vendor is expected to inherit IBM PCD’s Australian channel relationships, including up to 180 local staff.
Global Lenovo headquarters are expected to be in New York, but the main operations would be based in Beijing and the US state of North Carolina. The deal gives Lenovo a global distribution and sales network across 160 countries and global brand recognition, the companies said.