Lenovo Buys Back Phone Unit With Eye on Mobile Web Products

Lenovo will buy back the mobile phone unit that it spun off last year, reversing a move it originally made to focus on its core business in PCs, the company said late Friday.

The PC maker will buy Lenovo Mobile for around US$200 million in cash and stock to tap a growing market for mobile Internet devices, it said in a statement. Growing similarities between PCs and mobile phones are creating a new device category that Lenovo sees as a key growth opportunity in China and worldwide, it said.

Lenovo is buying its handset unit back from a group of investors who bought it for $100 million last year. The group is headed by Hony Capital, the private equity arm of Legend Holdings, which is also Lenovo's parent company.

Lenovo has struggled since the global economic recession began sapping demand for its PCs in developed markets. The company posted its first net profit in a year during its most recent fiscal quarter, after a restructuring brought its focus back to China and other emerging markets.

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