BARCELONA – 3Com, a maker of computer networking equipment, wants to become the full owner of Huawei- 3Com, a joint venture based in Hong Kong, to help it expand outside its home market, 3Com’s chairman, Eric Benhamou, said Tuesday.
The company plans to link the joint venture, which it currently owns with the Chinese company Huawei Technologies, to 3Com’s global sales and distribution network, Benhamou said. 3Com aims to reach an agreement to buy the remaining stake owned by Huawei by the end of November, he added.
3Com formed the venture with Huawei in November 2003 to enter China. In February, 3Com spent $28 million to buy an additional 2 percent and become the majority shareholder. 3Com wants full control to turn the company into a “global player,” Benhamou said.
“It’s a strategic asset, and typically you want to own that,” he said. “We plan to make significant investments to create the linkage into 3Com’s sales and distribution, so we want to make sure we own it or are on our way to own it.”
Benhamou said that although 3Com was aiming for “full ownership” of the company, it might be “more appropriate” to gradually increase the stake.
“Major growth” for Huawei-3Com has to come from outside China, as the company is “tied No. 1” with Cisco Systems in its home market, said Benhamou, who was attending the Etre business conference in Barcelona.
Benhamou said the joint venture was getting close to its “third anniversary” and that 3Com and Huawei had agreed at the start to “resolve the long-term ownership by then.” The joint venture manufactures routers and local area network switches and sells equipment made by 3Com in China and Japan. It accounted for more than half of 3Com’s sales in the quarter ended Sept. 1.
Fuente: International Herald Tribune