Lenovo completes acquisition of IBM's PC unit

The $1.75B deal was finished ahead of schedule

Lenovo Group Ltd. announced yesterday that its acquisition of IBM's PC unit has been completed, saying the process was finished ahead of schedule.

With the completion of the $1.75 billion deal -- expected to happen before the end of the second quarter on June 30 -- Lenovo has become a much larger company and has more than quadrupled its annual revenue (see story). The company, which had just under $3 billion in annual revenue before the acquisition, now has annual revenue of around $13 billion and is the world's third-largest PC vendor, behind Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

With the acquisition behind it, Lenovo is promising immediate results. In a statement, the company said it expects to see lower procurement and marketing costs and promised a wave of product introductions to come in the coming weeks. Those announcements could include the introduction of Lenovo-branded products into markets outside of China.

Prior to the acquisition, very few of Lenovo's products were sold outside mainland China.

However, on Lenovo's newly revamped Web site for the U.S., the company has put up information on a Lenovo-brand consumer desktop, notebook and a smart phone based on software from Microsoft Corp. The site noted that the products are currently available only in China, but graphics of the smart phone showed it running English-language software.

Upcoming product introductions could also include a version of the ThinkPad X41 notebook with a rotating screen that can be folded back against the keyboard, allowing it to be used as a tablet computer. Documents describing the notebook, called the ThinkPad X41 Tablet Series, were recently made available on the Web site of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC's approval is required before any device that includes a radio, including wireless LAN connectivity, can be offered for sale in the U.S.

Lenovo executives couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

With the completion of the deal, Lenovo has officially moved its headquarters from Beijing, where the company was established as a spin-off from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to Purchase, N.Y.

Lenovo also announced that IBM has named Henry Chow, the general manager of IBM China, and Robert W. Moffat Jr., an IBM senior vice president, as its representatives on Lenovo's board of directors. Both Chow and Moffat will act as nonvoting observers, according to Lenovo.

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