Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. have entered final talks on integrating their personal computer operations, with Vaio Corp., spun off from Sony Corp., also planning to join.
The three firms are considering setting up a joint holding company with subsidiaries that operate their respective PC businesses.
For the time being, they will keep their brands alive: Toshiba’s Dynabook, Fujitsu’s FMV and Vaio. They believe it is better to keep the badges intact because the names have strong recognition in the Japanese market.
The integration will also see Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio revamping their production systems and ultimately exerting greater price pressure on component suppliers.
They aim to reach an agreement by March 31, the end of fiscal 2015.
The trio would dethrone NEC Lenovo Japan Group from the top position in the Japanese PC market in terms of shipments.
Toshiba, which will spin off its PC business in April, is slated this month to specify how it will realign its PC and white-goods operations. Meanwhile Fujitsu spun off its PC operations this month.
Both Toshiba and Fujitsu plan to keep their equity stakes in the planned new firm below 50 percent, as they hope to exclude their slumping PC businesses from their consolidated earnings structures.
Investment fund Japan Industrial Partners Inc., the parent of Vaio, is expected to take the initiative at the new company.
Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio had a combined domestic PC market share of 30.2 percent in the first half of fiscal 2015 in terms of shipments, higher than the 27.7 percent for NEC Lenovo Japan Group, according to MM Research Institute, a Tokyo-based think tank.