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UPDATE 1-Lenovo says in talks to buy Packard Bell
NEW YORK Aug 7 (Reuters) - Lenovo Group Ltd. (0992.HK), the world's third-largest maker of personal computers, said on Tuesday it is in talks to buy European personal computer maker Packard Bell BV through an independent third party.
While no definitive deal has been reached, Lenovo said it is negotiating with the independent third party, which its does not name, as well as working with other parties or government bodies "in preparation for the entering into of definitive agreements for such proposed acquisition."
Lenovo notes that no deal may materialize.
Representatives of Packard Bell were not immediately available for comment.
According to a report in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, Lenovo is battling with Taiwan rival Acer Inc. (2353.TW) to buy Packard Bell.
Acer said in April that it planned to buy a PC company in three to five months to win more market share and accelerate growth. The company has declined to identify a potential target, saying only that it would not be a U.S. or Taiwan company.
Lenovo, one of a handful of Chinese firms trying to forge a global brand by investing abroad, dropped to fourth place globally in the first three months of 2007 but has now reclaimed the No. 3 slot from Acer in a closely fought battle, according to data from researchers Gartner and IDC.
((Reporting by Franklin Paul, additional reporting by Astrid Wendlandt in Paris, editing by Mark Porter; Reuters Messaging: Franklin.Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org; email Franklin.Paul@reuters.com; Tel: +1 646 223 6195)) Keywords: PACKARDBELL/LENOVO TALKS
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