Lenovo, the world’s No. 4 personal computer maker, is ready to make its next major acquisition despite a slowing global economy, the South China Morning Post newspaper said on Tuesday.
“Although we remain cautious, it is time for us to take on another challenge,” the newspaper quoted CFO Wong Wai Ming as saying.
It was the strongest hint to date of China’s largest PC maker, which bought IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) PC arm in 2005 for $1.25 billion, moving to further consolidate the industry amid the current economic crisis, it said.
Media reports said earlier this month that Siemens was planning to sell its stake in the Fujitsu Siemens Computers joint venture to joint venture partner Fujitsu.
Fujitsu would then sell the end-customer business of the joint venture as it is mostly interested in the commercial customer business, and Lenovo is seen as a possible buyer.
Wong declined to identify potential targets, but noted market speculation about Lenovo potentially buying Fujitsu Siemens Computers had been heating up over the past few months, the newspaper said.
“We’ve seen valuations go down in this market, which presents us with opportunities to grow either by acquisition or partnership,” Wong was quoted as saying.
Lenovo had net cash reserves of $1.8 billion as of June 30.
Wong said the firm, which is also affected by lower valuations because of the softening economy, would not hesitate to take on debt “if there is a deal that absolutely made sense,” the newspaper said.
Lenovo lost the No.3 rank to Acer in 2007 after the aggressive Taiwanese company beat it in a race for Europe’s Packard Bell.