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HP May Spin-Off PC Business Rather Than Sell

During an interview with Reuters, HP's Personal Systems Group head Todd Bradley said that he plans to lead any standalone company that detaches itself from the main HP collective. He also admitted that he expects the spin-off to cover tablets, ultra-thin and all-in-one PCs, and that such a spin-off would bring the "most value" to HP shareholders for taxation and "other reasons."

"My intention would be to lead it through this transaction ... and if it's a standalone public company, to lead that," he said, adding that selling HP's PC division to the likes of Lenovo or Acer just isn't a desirable alternative. "I would just say that the numbers don't support [how] that strategy works."

Currently Bradley is heading to China, Taiwan and South Korea to reassure employees, suppliers, government officials and media that HP still remains committed to the PC sector in Asian markets. The company plans to increase investments in Shanghai, and to expand its Shanghai manufacturing base over the next three years. There are also plans to consolidate six employee sites into one campus, and make Shanghai a regional headquarters in China for HP's PSG.

"China's obviously a critically important market for HP as well as PSG," he said. "Regardless of what happens, we're the largest PC company in the world. We need everybody energized, and while this isn't business as usual, we need people to go out and sell products every day."

HP seemingly needs a little re-energizing as of late. Earlier this month, the company revealed that it was discontinuing tablets and smartphones sporting the just-purchased webOS operating system. There was also indication that the company would either sell its PSG unit to another manufacturer, or spin it off as a separate company.

But now it looks as if HP may go for the latter option, as Bradley indicated that the PSG "will be one of, if not the largest, customers of all of our major suppliers, be it Samsung to LG to Microsoft to Intel." Still, HP may need to renegotiate and redefine the relationships is has with current PC component suppliers if HP green-lights a spin-off plan.

Will HP resurrect the TouchPad? The company already stated that it's not leaving the tablet business, but did confirm that it will no longer manufacture tablets using webOS. That said, HP may not reuse the TouchPad name based on its association with a seemingly failed tablet that's still up for sale on the market – even more so if HP manages to license out webOS to third-party manufacturers in the near future.

"Tablet computing is a segment of the market that's relevant, absolutely," Bradley said.