Wow! Didn't think I'd ever see IBM's PC division on the selling block.
IBM plans to exit PC business
Newspaper report says Big Blue could sell laptop and desktop lines for as much as $2 billion.
December 3, 2004: 9:23 AM EST
NEW YORK (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp. has put its personal computing business up for sale in a deal that could be worth as much as $2 billion, The New York Times reported Friday.
IBM (Research), now the No. 3 PC manufacturer behind Dell Inc. (Research) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (Research), is likely to include all of its desktop and laptop computers in the sale, which could bring $1 billion to $2 billion, people close to the negotiations told the newspaper.
"It is IBM's practice not to comment on rumors or speculation. When we have something to announce, we will," an IBM spokesman told CNN Business News. The company was one of the first to come out with a PC back in 1981.
Lenovo Group Ltd., China's top PC manufacturer, and at least one other company are said to be in talks with IBM, the Times reported.
There have been media reports that Lenovo, which controls more than a quarter of China's PC market, was poised to set up a joint venture with IBM.
Gartner Inc., a leading research firm, forecasted earlier this week that three of the top 10 personal computer makers would exit the market by 2007, citing slower growth rates and narrower profit margins. It did not name any companies.
Despite its large size relative to smaller competitors, Gartner added that IBM and HP's PC divisions were vulnerable to being spun off "if their drag on margins and profitability are deemed too great by their parent companies."