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Packard Bell jilts Acer for Lenovo

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It looks like Packard Bell will soon tie the knot with Lenovo - not Acer. Today, Lenovo announced that it's in discussions with "third parties and/or government bodies" as it prepares to purchase the Netherlands-based electronics manufacturer, leaving arch-rival Acer to navigate the European PC market all on its own.

Speaking with the IDG News Service, Packard Bell owner John Hui confirmed that a Lenovo marriage is in the works. "The (intended) acquisition signifies Lenovo's determination, commitment, and long-term planning in entering the PC consumer market after it has successfully completed its merger with IBM PC," said the man who sold eMachines to Gateway in 2004. "Packard Bell will provide Lenovo a spearhead into Europe and a jump start into the PC consumer market."

Prior to Lenovo's announcement, it was rumored that the Taiwan-based Acer was negotiating to purchase Packard Bell, but Hui wouldn't admit to leaving Acer stranded at the altar. "I have not entered into any agreements with Acer concerning Packard Bell," he said. In April, Acer insisted it would acquire a rival PC manufacturer within three to five months, but this has yet to happen.

According to research from IDC, Lenovo and Acer are neck-and-neck in the race for worldwide PC sales. In the first quarter of this year, Acer was the market's number three manufacturer and Lenovo number four, but they flip-flopped in the second quarter, Lenovo nabbing 8.3 per cent of the market, Acer 7.2. That said, the Chinese-American PC giant is well behind Acer in the European, Middle East, and African market, an area where Packard Bell is sure to pay dividends. ®

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