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Business

Japan state bank weighing stake in Fujitsu-Lenovo PC venture

TOKYO -- The government-owned Development Bank of Japan is considering taking up to a 10% interest in a proposed joint venture between Fujitsu's personal computer business and China's Lenovo Group.

Fujitsu and Lenovo are in negotiations with a goal of reaching an agreement by the end of the month. One proposal is for Lenovo to take a 51% stake and Fujitsu at least a one-third interest in the venture, with the remainder going to the DBJ. Fujitsu and Lenovo could also seek investment from elsewhere.

Fujitsu's PC business has suffered as computers lose ground to smartphones in Japan. The plan is to lift profitability by cutting procurement and production costs under Lenovo, the world's top PC maker. The DBJ will make a final decision after evaluating the prospects for Fujitsu PC operations' recovery under Lenovo.

The DBJ has provided loans and investment to electronics, airline and other companies to aid in consolidation and rehabilitation efforts. It has a 40% stake in a venture between Fujitsu and Panasonic that designs and develops system chips. In addition to necessary funding, the DBJ could offer its expertise in business turnarounds to the venture.

The involvement of a government-backed institution could help alleviate concerns regarding a Chinese company taking over Japanese PC operations.

(Nikkei)

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