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IBM-Lenovo deal gets US security nod

March 10, 2005 12:17 IST
China's Lenovo Group won the crucial security clearance from the United States to acquire IBM's personal computer business, which was opposed by some American lawmakers, the state media reported on Wednesday.

Quoting an IBM executive, China Daily reported that a US national security oversight committee had given the deal its unanimous consent putting the $1.25 billion PC sale on track to close in the second quarter as originally planned.

"We were able to get unanimous agreement from the members of the committee," Stephen Ward, general manager of IBM's Personal Systems Division, said.

Ward is to become chief executive of Lenovo, which is headquartered in Beijing, once the deal closes.

The merger of the IBM PC business with China's biggest PC company will create the world's third largest PC maker and one strongly positioned in several fast-growing markets.

The deal met unexpected resistance when some US lawmakers began decrying the loss of a US-based PC maker to China on national security accounts.

The go-ahead from the committee on foreign investment in the United States was received on Tuesday, Ward said.

Ward said terms of the approval are confidential, but that no compromises were required over the location of Lenovo facilities in sensitive research areas, nor were limits put on Lenovo's ability to sell PCs to US agencies.

"I don't think we made any compromises at all," he said.

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