Worse Comes to Worst, We Butcher the Cow and Hold a BBQ for Our Shareholders
In today’s “eat or be eaten” personal-computer market, Gateway was a steak dinner waiting to happen. After faltering during the economic downturn of the late ’90s, the PC maker never regained its footing. In the ensuing years, Gateway shipped fewer and fewer of its signature black-and-white dairy cow PC boxes. It steadily lost market share to rivals like Dell and Hewlett-Packard and its share price sunk deep into the manure. But it continued to rank among the top five PC vendors in the United States.
Little wonder then that PC manufacturer Acer, which has been looking to expand its nominal market share in the states, said this morning it will purchase Gateway for $710 million. Quite a sum for a struggling PC maker, but from Acer’s perspective, money well spent. Aside from making the Tawainese company the world’s third largest PC vendor, the acquisition gives it right of first refusal to buy Packard Bell, which it plans to excercise ruining its rival Lenovo’s plans to acquire the European company. “The company that loses the most from this is Lenovo,” said JP Gownder, a PC analyst at Forrester Research. “Acer is saying [it’s] going to be a world player. That is a huge stake in the ground.”