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Fujitsu buys Siemens stakes in joint venture

Microscope contributor

Fujitsu has bought Siemens' 50% stake in the joint venture for €450m in a deal that should bring more stability to the PC vendor but has seen CEO Bernd Bischoff resign for personal reasons.

 The firms set up Fujitsu Siemens in October 1999 and were due to renew the contract for next year's anniversary but Siemens had indicated its willingness to walk away from a business that deals in low-value PCs and servers.

This morning Fujitsu confirmed its intention to close the buy-out on 1 April 2009 subject to a green light from the relevant government agencies but in the meantime the Fujitsu Siemens operation will continue as normal.

"Fully integrating Fujitsu Siemens Computers into the Fujitsu Group fits perfectly into our global growth strategy," said Kuniaki Nozoe, president of Fujitsu in a statement.

He added it was "inheriting" a strong customer base in EMEA, R&D capability and a "talented group of employees" who will work under a new CEO in current chief financial officer Kai Flore.

Joe Kaeser, chief financial officer at Siemens said it would continue to focus on strategic markets including energy, industry and healthcare,

"We are happy that our joint-venture partner Fujitsu will acquire our stake in Fujitsu Siemens Computers and will take the company to its next level of success," he said.

In recent years Fujitsu Siemens has had a rather inconsistent sales performance in EMEA, its strongest market, and has this year fared worse following the speculation about its future owners.

Eszter Morvay, IDC senior analyst, said preliminary data for the third quarter saw the vendor's sales decline 7.8% in a flat desktop market while notebook shipments fell 11.5% in a segment that boomed 45%.

This left Fujitsu Siemens holding 5.6% market share in the region but perhaps more worryingly the company was even losing ground in its heartland, the German PC market after being toppled by HP.

"Fujitsu will need to invest in branding," said Morvay, who added the market remained extremely competitive but the new operation would benefit from a more certain future following months of speculation.

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