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Acer slogs through the red tape to get Packard Bell

In late August, Acer announced that it would acquire U.S.-based Gateway, Inc. for $710 million USD. The move came as a shock to many who weren’t expecting such a move from the Taiwanese computer giant.

At the time, Acer said that it acquired Gateway to expand its presence in the U.S. and strengthen its position in the worldwide marketplace. The acquisition of Gateway also meant that Acer gained access to low-cost PC maker eMachines which Gateway purchased in 2004 for $262 million USD.

"The acquisition of Gateway and its strong brand immediately completes Acer's global footprint, by strengthening our US presence," said Acer chairman J.T. Wang in August. "This will be an excellent addition to Acer's already strong positions in Europe and Asia. Upon acquiring Gateway, we will further solidify our position as number three PC vendor globally."

Soon after the announcement was made, however, it became clear that Acer really wanted to go after Packard Bell. Gateway was given the right of first refusal (ROFR) for control of PB Holding Company S.à.r.l., the parent company for Packard Bell, by John Hui in June 2006. 

Acer today announced its intention to acquire all shares of PB Holding Company S.à.r.l., thus giving it complete control of Packard Bell. The acquisition is expected to be completed between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008.

Acer's latest acquisition means that it will have now have prime positioning to gain market share in Asia Acer), the U.S. (Gateway and eMachines) and Europe (Packard Bell).

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RE: Packard Bell still exists?
By Mitch101 on 10/9/2007 9:04:10 AM , Rating: 5
I thinks its all demographic buys. Each one brings a storefront or geographical location to the mix. Combine them all and you wind up with some real coverage. Then eliminate the duplicate areas like research and development and you wind up with a lean company that can take on Dell or HP.

RE: Packard Bell still exists?
By BillyBatson on 10/9/2007 10:01:26 AM , Rating: 2
That is a good point I can see this happening where all the overlapping portions of the 3 companies are eliminated keeping just one of the two or perhaps even three entities present making it a more lean company as you said. In this end will this produce a company able to take on HP and Dell? We won't know for a while but at the least some more serious competition might bring down overall prices

RE: Packard Bell still exists?
By jak3676 on 10/10/2007 2:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen some analysis that this was as much a defensive move for Acer as it was an attempt to expand into Europe. Lenovo had publicly stated that they were interested in Packard Bell - and it didn't look like Gateway was in any position to challenge that. In the end Acer not only boosts their position, but they take it away from Lenovo.

RE: Packard Bell still exists?
By spluurfg on 10/9/2007 11:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't just about research and development -- in a sense, Acer will be even more vertically integrated than Dell, in that it is one of the major OEM manufacturers in Asia. Buying Gateway and Packard Bell will allow them to become their suppliers, benefiting their existing businesses and (hopefully) cutting costs the two pc manufacturers. Acer was actually the progenitor of Benq and AU Optronics (the A is for Acer), one of three dominant LCD panel makers in the world (along with LG Phillips and Samsung TN).

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