Acer acquisition will be bigger than a breadbox, smaller than Gateway
Oh, you tease ...
Acer still won't say which PC vendor it plans to acquire, but it will give us a few hints.
When chief executive JT Wang said last month that Acer was looking at acquiring a company as a part of its plan to overtake Lenovo, professional speculators first bet on Gateway computers. The news sent Gateway shares up 18 per cent from the beginning of March to a 52-week high at $2.40 per share.
That guess was way off. Gateway quickly denied the rumor , and Acer has now followed suit.
At an investor conference in Taipei today, Wang threw the public another bone. Today's clue: It's a small company and "not in the United States".
So that narrows it down to about 193 countries...minus the non-industrialized folks...carry the one...
This one's a toughie.
Regardless of the buy, Acer has already succeeded in its plan to outstrip Lenovo. Earlier this month, market share analyst Gartner reported that Acer shipments increased 48 per cent its first quarter, bumping Acer past its long-time rival to third place position in worldwide sales. In it's first quarter, Acer's shipments reached 4.28 million to grab 6.8 per cent of the PC market. Lenovo nabbed 3.97 million for a close-but-no-cigar 6.3 per cent of the market.
PC World reports that Acer execs at the Taipei conference forecast increasing PC shipments by 30 to 40 per cent year-on-year in 2007.
Acer's attempts to climb the market mountain have recently hit a stumbling block courtesy Hewlett-Packard standing atop the summit. The market leader recently sent not one but two patent lawsuits rolling down to stop Acer making gains in the US market. ®
I'll have a score on....
Packard Bell, now where do I claim my winnings?
I'm betting on...
Either Clevo or Sager as the take-over target. Both of these companies have a great reputation in the "white box" marketplace with a range of excellently-spec'd system, innovative designs and small but healthy market shares. They would compliment/expand Acer's high-end footprint (Sager) and their convertible market (Clevo), and would effectively remove multiple house-brand competitors in one stroke. This would also allow Acer to tap into the low-margin/high-volume rebranding market...someplace that Acer has had experience in past lives.
Of course, I can't rule out something obtuse like buying Asus (and getting a whole lot of OTHER markets in addition to high-end laptops) or even Twinhead - my own personal machine label - a specialist in toughened portables for hard service and harsh environments. (Not an earth-shaking area to expand into, but one that's apparently attracting attention from the big names like HP and Dell).
Tough to call, but Clevo or Sager would give them a good mix to further beat up on Lenovo and add a good customer spread to their OEM house.
(BTW, I buy Acers for my family - like Mom and Dad. Great machines for the price, and run Linux well out of the box too!)