SAO PAULO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - China’s Lenovo (0992.HK), the world’s fourth-largest seller of personal computers, is “open” to buy rivals in Brazil, where it wants to triple market share by 2014, if it strikes the right acquisition price, the company’s top two officials said on Thursday.
The company held talks last year with Brazil’s Positivo Informatica (POSI3.SA), Brazil’s top PC maker, but it called off the process before the start of 2009 saying that an acquisition at that moment was not possible.
Chief Executive Yuanqing Ying said the best way for Lenovo to grow in Latin America is expanding in Brazil, which concentrates 42 percent of the region’s PC market. He expects Brazil to become the world’s third-largest PC market after China and the United States in the next five years.
“We are always open to find the right company,” he said at an event in Sao Paulo. “But the price (of an eventual acquisition) has to be the appropriate for our shareholders.”
Lenovo’s Chief Operating Officer Rory Read told Reuters on the sidelines of the event that the company is always “in talks with other companies” over a possible association, but a takeover could only be possible if the price meets Lenovo’s targets.
Read did not mention any names for possible targets.
Positivo rose for a fourth day in Sao Paulo’s Bovespa exchange, jumping 4.2 percent to 21.88 reais. Thursday’s gain was the largest intraday jump since Oct. 29.
Lenovo and global rivals are battling slowing demand as the world economy struggles with recession and companies cut back on tech spending.
Buying factories or adding output capacity is not as important as gaining scale, Lenovo’s CEO said, adding that the company is now more focused on building up a strong relationship with suppliers, distributors and part makers in Brazil.
The company declined to disclose capital expenditure plans for the future years. Under the model for organic growth, both Lenovo and its partners would have to invest jointly to expand the brand’s reach in Brazil. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, editing by Dave Zimmerman)