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China Oceanwide buys 29% stake in Lenovo parent Legend
Updated: 2009-09-08 11:40

China Oceanwide Holdings Group, a private investment firm, on Tuesday bought a 29 percent stake in Legend Holdings, the parent company of the world's No 4 PC maker, Lenovo.

Vice president of Legend Holdings Zhu Linan announced the transaction Tuesday, saying Oceanwide bought the stake for 2.76 billion yuan ($404.1 million) through the Beijing Equity Exchange, making it the No 3 share holder in Legend.

Lu Zhiqiang, chairman of Oceanwide, joined the Legend board at a meeting on Tuesday, which also elected Liu Chuanzhi board chairman.

Liu was one of the 12 co-founders of the then-Legend Computers in 1984. The company changed the name into Lenovo in 2003, and became a global PC maker in 2005 with its acquisition of IBM Corp's PC unit. The parent company Legend has marched into IT, investment and real estate areas.

"Legend is aiming at a stock market listing," said Liu.

He said the stock regulations in the mainland prevented a parent company from listing, if it has already had its subsidiary listed. However, the Hong Kong stock market does not have this restriction.

He said the company planned to invest 10 billion yuan in the next five years to develop its core businesses, including clean energy, new materials, IT and financial services.

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Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Holdings, the controlling holder in Legend Holdings, quoted its holding of 29 percent of shares in Legend Holdings on the China Beijing Equity Exchange on August 7.

Deng Maicun, general manager of CAS Holdings, said the equity transfer was part of the company's reform to transform it from a State-owned company to a share-holding company.

"The company would make use of the equity transfer payments in turning new research fruits into production, and training more IT professionals," he said.

Before the quotation, CAS Holdings owned 65 percent of Legend Holding's shares, while the remaining 35 percent was held by Legend Holdings' Employee Share-holding Union.

Oceanwide chairman Lu Zhiqiang said the company highly rated Legend's development strategy, and the partnership was mutually beneficial.

Lu was listed among the world's billionaires by Forbes in March. He founded Oceanwide in 1988 with a registered capital of 4 billion yuan.

"Liu is a long-time friend for me. There were no twists and turns in this round of cooperation," he said.

He said as a private company, Oceanwide would bring vitality and efficiency into Legend.

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