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Legend Holdings debuts on HKEx

Reporter: Cathy Yang 丨 CCTV.com

06-29-2015 16:44 BJT

Legend Holdings is the biggest shareholder in the PC maker Lenovo Group and it made its debut Monday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The listing puts the spotlight squarely on Legend founder Liu Chuanzhi, the mainland entrepreneur now seen as the torch bearer for the Chinese entrepreneurial spirit.

The third largest IPO in Hong Kong this year to list on the stock exchange. Legend Holdings is the biggest shareholder in the world’s largest PC maker, Lenovo.

Legend earlier secured 700 million U-S dollars from 20 cornerstone investors in a sign of approval for the conglomerate and the visionary who has expanded the company into a global brand.

Liu Chuanzhi is the founder of Legend Holdings. 

Liu’s humble beginnings date back to the mid-eighties when he began Legend as a computer scientist. Legend soon made a breakthrough with the help of 30 thousand dollars from the Chinese Academy of Science when it developed a circuit board allowing I-B-M personal computers to process Chinese characters.

Then came Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s P-C business in 2005 for one and a quarter billion U-S dollars. The deal catapulted Lenovo into international markets.

“I was wearing an old business suit of my father’s and I sat in the back row. Even in my dreams, I never imagined that one day we could buy the IBM PC business. It was unthinkable. Impossible," he said.

To this day, Mr Liu remembers when he first took part in a meeting of IBM agents. He was wearing an old business suit then, and sat in the back row. He says of that moment, “I never imagined that one day we could buy the IBM PC business. It was unthinkable.”

Today, Mr. Liu is seen as a torch bearer for the spirit of Chinese entrepreneuers.

Lenovo today has joined the ranks of the global top tech brands of choice, alongside rivals Samsung and Apple. Lenovo, of which Legend owns less than a third, provides two-thirds of the group’s profits.

Lenovo aside, some of Legend’s other businesses have also turned in profits, and look set to make a contribution to the group - from agriculture to car rentals, real-estate to dentistry. Legend also has interests in other areas – through its private-equity arm, Hony Capital.

But unlike other homegrown Mainland companies that have gone global, the conglomerate Liu has built appears to have grown closer to its American and European counterparts - than to business groups in Asia.

Experts say respect for intellectual property rights plays a key role.

Legend’s listing brings the sprawling conglomerate ever so closer to investor scrutiny. But it also gives Legend a chance to show that being big doesn’t have to get in the way of good governance and transparency.

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