Lenovo reportedly is on the verge of another acquisition, but this time it’s not in PCs or software but in televisions.

The Nikkei newspaper in Japan reported Thursday that the world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer may buy a television factory from Sharp.

Lenovo has used a series of global acquisitions from PCs to consumer devices to software in its drive for growth as PC sales worldwide stagnate in the face of stiff competition from smartphones and tablets. 

TVs have become a bigger point of emphasis for Lenovo, which is looking for business outside of PCs. The company, which operates its global executive headquarters in Morrisville, last year launched its own line of “smart” Internet-connected TVs last year and has aggressively moved into the smartphone markets.

“We are entering the PC-plus era,” Lenovo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing told Reuters in an interview last week.

Sharp, meanwhile, has been struggling.

Sharp shares headed for the highest close in about six months in Tokyo trading after the Nikkei report, Bloomberg reported.

Sharp is in final talks on selling the Chinese plant and another in Malaysia in separate deals that may raise about 30 billion yen ($339 million), Nikkei reported, without citing anyone. The company has said it’s seeking to raise funds as it heads toward a record annual loss because of slumping TV sales.

Osaka, Japan-based Sharp isn’t the source of the information in the Nikkei report, Miyuki Nakayama, a spokeswoman, said by phone today.

Lenovo spokesman Raymond Gorman declined to comment, saying the company doesn’t “respond to or speculate upon rumors.”

The Beijing-based PC maker may buy a liquid-crystal-display TV plant in Nanjing from Sharp by year’s end, Nikkei said, without citing anyone. The companies also may form a China sales venture that could expand to Southeast Asia and Latin America, according to the report.

Hsinchu, Taiwan-based Wistron Corp. is in talks about the possible purchase of the TV plant in Malaysia, Nikkei said. Joyce Chou, a spokeswoman for Wistron, declined to comment. The company rose as much as 6.6 percent in Taipei trading.

Lenovo Expansion

Lenovo is interested in expanding through purchases, Yuanqing said in a Jan. 4 interview. The company bought International Business Machines Corp.’s PC  unit in 2005.

Acquisitions are “a good tool to drive the growth and building of capability,” Yang said. “We will continue to leverage this tool, if we can find targets.” He didn’t elaborate on possible deals.

Lenovo started selling Android-based “smart” TVs in China in May as it expands beyond its traditional focus on computers. The company, which so far only offers the TVs in its home market, has seen “very small volume” in sales, Yang said in the interview, without supplying details. The company declined as much as 1.9 percent in Hong Kong trading.

Sharp, which turned to Qualcomm Inc. last month for as much as 9.9 billion yen ($112 million) in new capital, is selling assets and seeking more ways to boost capital, President Takashi Okuda said earlier this month. The company warned in November about its ability to survive after hemorrhaging 103 billion yen in cash from operations in the fiscal first half due to falling prices of LCD TVs and solar panels.

Lenovo’s Drive

Lenovo overtook Apple during the second quarter last year for second place in smartphone sales in China, the world’s largest handset market, researcher IDC said in August.

The company, which only introduced its first touch-screen handset in China in 2010, vaulted from seventh place in the first quarter. In the past six months, Lenovo has expanded sales beyond its home market to Russia, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Lenovo’s thrust into the living room began in May when it unveiled four models of smart televisions. The devices use Google Inc.’s Android 4.0 operating system with Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon dual-core processors. The TVs are currently available only in China.

Lenovo shares gained 36 percent in Hong Kong last year, outpacing the 23 percent advance in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out seven years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]

(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)