Lenovo aims to keep expanding abroad, M&A an option

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SHANGHAI/NEW YORK, Oct 16 (Reuters) China's top personal computer maker, Lenovo Group Ltd, is exploring a range of options, including acquisitions, to boost its overseas business, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

The comments follow the latest setback in Lenovo's attempt at making a foreign acquisition, after Taiwan's Acer Inc on Tuesday successfully completed a 0 million tender offer for U.S.-based Gateway Inc As part of the agreement between Acer and Gateway, the Taiwan PC giant will fund Gateway's intended purchase of Paris-based PC vendor Packard Bell, which Lenovo also had been hoping to buy to expand its European consumer operation.

Lenovo -- which is still in the process of integrating an ailing global arm it bought from IBM in 2005 -- will continue to focus on building up its consumer business, said Anders Cheung, vice president for corporate development.

''We are discussing different options in different countries and markets,'' Cheung said on the sidelines of a financial forum in Shanghai, without commenting on Packard Bell.

''We are still very open to all possibilities. Acquisitions are one way to go,'' Cheung said, adding that Lenovo had no plans for domestic acquisitions for the time being.

Lenovo said in August it was in exclusive talks to take over Packard Bell BV to spearhead a consumer expansion, allowing it to quickly grab market share.

But those plans were dealt a blow when Gateway later said it would exercise a right of first refusal to buy Packard Bell in a deal that would unseat Lenovo as the world's No. 3 PC maker.

On Tuesday, Acer said 86.09 percent of shareholders in Gateway have tendered into Acer's proposed purchase of the company, clearing the way for the merger to close.

Lenovo, which is in intense competition with global leaders Dell Inc and Hewlett Packard, is expected to slip to become the world's No. 4 PC maker after the merger.

Gateway common stock will cease to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.


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