China’s Lenovo’s bid for PC maker Packard Bell hit by Acer-Gateway deal

BEIJING, Aug 28, 2007 (AFP) – A bid by China’s Lenovo to buy major European personal computer maker Packard Bell will probably fail due to an acquisition by rival Acer, state media said Tuesday. The Lenovo plan may be aborted after Taiwan’s Acer announced Monday it had signed a deal to buy Gateway for 710 million dollars and would indirectly take control of Netherlands’ Packard Bell, the Shanghai Securities News said.

Gateway, the fourth largest private computer maker, said it would exercise its right of first refusal to buy Paris-based PB Holding Co., the parent company of Packard Bell, said the report.

That will prevent John Hui, a major shareholder of Gateway who bought Packard Bell from Japan’s NEC last year, from selling Packard Bell to Lenovo, the newspaper said.

Shares of Lenovo Group fell sharply Tuesday in Hong Kong following reports about the Acer-Gateway deal, which will see Acer replacing the Chinese maker as the world’s third-largest private computer maker. At 12.30 pm, Lenovo was down 7.5 percent at 5.09 Hong Kong dollars (65 cents), after slipping nearly 12 percent in early trade.