Lenovo eyes Medion acquisition to boost Europe PC sales

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Chinese computer giant Lenovo is looking to boost its market share in Europe by agreeing to buy a majority stake in German computer maker Medion.

According to the Financial Times, Lenovo will pay Gerd Brachmann, Medion’s founder and CEO, €231 million in cash and shares for a 40% stake in the company, but the deal will only go ahead if the holders of at least 15% of publicly traded Medion shares accept Lenovo's €13 per share offer -- a 29% premium.

The move would reportedly mark the Chinese company's biggest acquisition since it purchased IBM's PC business six years ago for $1.25 billion.

Lenovo is currently the world’s fourth-largest PC vendor by shipments behind HP, Dell and Acer. The company has been trying to break into the consumer space in Europe, but has had little success so far, and thus it remains over-reliant on its home market with almost 50% of its business coming out of China.

Medion is a relatively small player in the Western Europe consumer market, holding a 4% market share during the first three months of 2011, compared to 0.5% for Lenovo. Nevertheless the acquisition would help Lenovo move closer to rival Acer whose main strength is in Europe. Apparently unfazed by this, Acer's chief executive Jim Wong says they're more interested in buying companies that would boost their technology rather than just their market share.

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