Acer to buy Gateway, Gateway to buy Packard Bell

How’s this for a bizarre love triangle: Acer (the world’s third largest PC vendor), has announced plans to buy Gateway (tied for third in the U.S.), which is rumored to be buying Packard Bell (Europe’s third largest PC seller). That’s a lot of thirds! While you’re busy trying to figure out the DaVinci Code-style secret message that surely lies between the lines of that triangular sentence, I’ll continue: While the Acer/Gateway deal has been rumored for some time, we now have confirmation from Acer that they intend to close the $710 million deal in December, pending U.S. regulatory approval. The sale has apparently been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors and would give Acer, a big name in Europe and Asia, a large slice of the American PC market. According to Acer, the Gateway and eMachines brands would continue to live under the Acer umbrella for the time being.

Meanwhile, Packard Bell, once rumored to be going to Lenovo, is apparently all set to be gobbled up by the soon-to-be-subsumed Gateway. Gateway will apparently “exercise its right of first refusal to acquire from [former eMachines owner] Lap Shun (John) Hui, all of the shares of PB Holding Company,, the parent company for Packard Bell BV.” In plain old English, that means that Gateway, not Lenovo, will be swallowing Packard Bell sometime in the near future. Interestingly enough, according to the press release, Hui received the offer for the shares from a mysterious third party, proving that as far as these deals are concerned, the third time’s the charm.

For more on the deals:
– see this press release and this eWeek story on the Acer/Gateway deal
– and this one on the Gateway/Packard Bell deal

More stories about Gateway   Acer   Lenovo   Hardware News   Acquisitions  


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