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NEC to sell Packard-Bell to eMachines founder?

¥10bn punted for European PC arm

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NEC is mulling an offer for its Packard Bell PC business, according to reports.

Packard Bell Europe communications director Hughes Gontier pretty well confirmed whispers yesterday that the founder of eMachines had punted ¥10bn for the company. He said: "French staff were told on Friday that NEC had received an offer." He declined to give any more details.

eMachine's Lap Shun Hui built the brand on low-cost, entry-level offerings before selling out to Gateway. Now, apparently he actually wants to get back into the PC game.

NEC bought Packard Bell in 1996. The brand has done well for its Japanese parent, topping the UK consumer desktop market share stats above Dell last year. Analysts at Gartner reckon it has been slipping because of competitors' pricing, however.®

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