IBM is looking to sell its personal computer business in a deal that could be worth up to $2 billion, The New York Times reported, capping a gradual withdrawal from the business it pioneered.
IBM, now the No. 3 PC maker behind Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., is likely to include all of its desktop, laptop, and notebook computers in the sale, which could earn it between U.S. $1 billion and $2 billion, the newspaper said, citing people close to the negotiations.
Lenovo Group Ltd., China's top PC maker, and at least one other company are said to be in talks with IBM, the Times reported.
IBM declined to comment. "It's IBM's practice not to comment on rumor or speculation," company spokesman Ed Barbini told Reuters.
Officials for Lenovo in Hong Kong and Beijing could not be reached for comment.
In the late 1990s, IBM withdrew from the consumer PC market in the United States and has long relied on contract manufacturers mostly located in China or Taiwan to produce its desktop and notebook products. In 2002, the company sold its PC production operations in the United States and other locations to contract manufacturer Sanmina-SCI.
The company has also exited the low-margin storage and memory chip businesses in recent years, while investing in what it sees as strategic growth areas like computer services and software. (Reuters)
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