Gateway opens to Packard Bell

9 Oct 2007

US computer firm Gateway, which itself was acquired by Taiwanese company Acer on 27 August for US$710m, is being funded by its buyer to acquire European vendor Packard Bell.

No financial details have been disclosed yet but the Financial Times reported that a source close to Acer said it may cost less then US$100m.

Lenovo, Acer’s Chinese rival, was also said to have been interested in acquiring the computer company.

Gateway exercised right of first refusal to purchase all shares of Packard Bell’s parent company, PB Holding, from Lap Shun Hui and Clifford Holdings which own the majority of shares at 75pc.

Packard Bell has had a chequered past, with personal computer magazine PC World ranking the company’s computers from the period 1986 to 1996 as the worst PCs of all time.

Since 2000 the company has had no presence in the US, however, it re-branded in Europe and has had high consumer sales here.

Hiu, the owner of Packard Bell since 2006, also owned eMachines until he sold it to Gateway in 2004.

By Marie Boran