Lenovo to buy US software firm
Lenovo, the world's second-largest maker of personal computers, has agreed to buy US firm Stoneware in its first acquisition of a software vendor.
Stoneware produces software used mainly by governments and schools to synchronize data across multiple mobile devices, Lenovo vice president Mark Cohen said in a telephone interview.
The closely held, Indianapolis-based company has 60 employees, he said, without disclosing terms.
The purchase is Lenovo's second in less than three weeks as chief executive officer Yang Yuanqing expands the company to take on rivals including Apple and Samsung in smartphones, tablets and Internet-ready televisions.
Lenovo will use Stoneware to build a "public cloud" for consumers, Mr Cohen said. The service would compete with Apple's iCloud, which lets users store music, movies and applications and access them by the Internet and wirelessly.
The acquisition "helps us access and interface with users in a way that we haven't been able to do," Mr Cohen said.
"We are not trying to remake ourselves into a software company. What we're trying to do is selectively enter the software market where we can make a difference for our customers, and to support our overall strategy."
Lenovo shares were unchanged at HK$6.32 at 1.03 pm in Hong Kong trading.
They have gained 22 per cent this year, compared with a 12 per cent rise in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
Lenovo, whose headquarters are in Beijing and North Carolina, has focused previous acquisitions on hardware.
It bought the PC division of International Business Machines in 2005.
Last year, the company acquired control of Medion, a German-based computer maker, and the PC unit of Tokyo-based NEC.