Gateway, Acer, Packard Bell To Merge, Form Voltron

Acer is buying Gateway for $710 million. Meanwhile, Gateway has just offered to buy Packard Bell for $100 million, according to MSNBC.

Together, they will form Voltron and fight Chinese rival, Lenovo.

Acer has agreed to finance the Packard Bell bid and said it had already put the necessary funds into escrow for Gateway to use.

A source close to Acer said the cost for the Packard Bell acquisition would come on top of the US$710m Acer is to pay for Gateway, but the European PC maker would cost it less than US$100m. The source said that the agreement between Gateway and John Hui, Packard Bell’s major shareholder, did not allow for a renewed rival bid following from Lenovo following an offer from Gateway, thus preventing a bidding war between Lenovo and Acer.

Lenovo had expressed an interest in acquiring Packard Bell to bolster its European presence.

But Gateway last month threw those plans into doubt, saying it intended to exercise its right of first refusal to acquire all shares in Packard Bell’s holding company from Mr Hui. Gateway acquired the option to buy Mr Hui’s shares last year.

Nevertheless, Bill Amelio, Lenovo’s chief executive, said last month that Lenovo was “still very interested” in the company. Acer and Lenovo have been fighting for third place in the global PC industry behind US computer makers Hewlett-Packard and Dell.



Edit Your Comment

  1. letoofdune says:

    And I’ll form the head!

  2. n/a says:

    Activate interlock!…
    Dynotherms connected!…
    Infracells up!…
    Mega thrusters are go!…
    Form Feet and Legs…
    Form Arms and Torso
    And I’ll Form the Head…
    ::comes down::
    ::lions roar::

    Lets finish this Robeast off team.
    Form Blazing Sword!….
    ::hands come together and pulls out beam to form sword and arches back as lion roars::

    Yeah im a geek but then again when you are born in 1975 and saw Voltron and Vehicle Voltron then well what can you do?

  3. ChrisC1234 says:

    Wait a second… Packard Bell is still around? I thought they died a horrible death long ago. From what I can remember, their computers were worse than Gateway’s.

  4. starrion says:

    Acer, Gateway, and Packard Bell?

    This may be the crappiest computer company on earth! I see computers made entirely out of plastic that don’t start up properly and shoot flames out of the power supply.

    Maybe they can call it GAP computers. Anybody that buys one has a GAP – between the ears.

  5. rmz says:

    I was reasonably certain that Packard Bell was already acquired many years ago. Did they split off into their own corporate entity again?

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    @starrion: I see computers made entirely out of plastic that don’t start up properly and shoot flames out of the power supply.

    …And this is different from regular Windows machines HOW?!

  7. tedyc03 says:


    Fire that marketing company…

  8. remusrm says:

    Packard Bell is alive?

  9. tedyc03 says:

    @trai_dep: Oh God, here comes that stupid “Macs are better” debate…

  10. SabrinaFaire says:

    Ditto on the “Packard Bell is still around?” sentiment. My brother credits his entire IT career with the Packard Bell we had in High School. Were it not for that thing breaking down regularly, he would never have learned how to fix a computer.

  11. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Packard Bell has been around in Europe for the last few years.

    I remember when at least one out of every three PB computers was dead when you first took it out of the box.

    What a stupid name for a company!
    I guess these fools saw that Dell is calling its new, crapware free models “Vostro” & thought that Voltron was a terrific idea.
    Worst of all, I’ll bet that some branding company got paid big bucks to “create” the name!

  12. umonster says:

    Packard Bell still has a decent presence in Western Europe. God knows why.

  13. OnceWasCool says:

    Finally crap has but one name.

  14. ARP says:

    It’s like handcuffing three drunks together, but they might be good to put out some low end machines. Computers are almost becoming a disposable comodity, get a new one every other year.

  15. starrion says:

    My history with Packard Bell:
    8/88 bought 286AT with 3yr repair/replace warranty.
    6/89 AT Dies during power outage. Replaced w/386sx16 at no cost.
    2/90 sx16 dies for no apparent reason. Replaced with sx25 at no cost.
    4/91 sx25 hard disk starts makes appalling noise before seizing. Replaced with 486sx25 for $200.
    That machine lasted 2Yrs.
    I had considered murdering the sx25 to get a 486, but it suicided on it’s own.
    I was never so happy I bought a warranty.

    I worked on Acer’s a little bit. Wouldn’t consider buying one- ever.

  16. Bay State Darren says:

    Next there’s gonna be a rock supergroup consisting of Pete Best, Gary Cherone, Ronnie James Dio, whoever the hell’s in Gn’R right now, and the lead singer’s 16 y.o. at bass.

  17. anatak says:

    So did Acer buy the consumer leg of Gateway? Apparently Micron has bought the business end already.

    Packard Bell

    Voltron complete

  18. nursetim says:

    You need to include a diagram with the description of the deal. That was the most confusing thing I have read in a long time.

  19. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I haven’t had or heard of as much trouble from Acers as I have from either Gateway or Packard Bell. So either all the computers will become marginally better, or they’ll all get a lot worse.

  20. pestie says:

    Holy crap! First of all, I had no idea that Packard Bell still existed. Man, I hated those machines. I always figured “Packard Bell” must mean “broken shit” in some obscure language somewhere. Acer hardware is maybe one notch above PB, quality-wise, and Gateway is about equal. This is like a perfect storm of suck!

  21. G-Dog says:

    Its like, a trifecta of suck.

    Any company that created this video is one to avoid.

  22. Lacclolith says:

    Wow, apparently, Packard Bell’s made a name for themselves as a legitimate PC builder/rebrander in Europe. []

    I’m shocked just to see that they still exist.

  23. UpsetPanda says:

    Wow. What’s next? NEC comes roaring back, after spending a long period of time providing large beige boxes to the former Soviet Union?

    I honestly don’t think that Acegaterbellway could ever compete with Lenovo. Apples and oranges. Acer, Gateway and Packard Bell were never ever geared toward business. Lenovo has the business market cornered, since it’s been established for a long time that most Dells are crap in a blinking box.

  24. quail says:

    No mention of Tandy computers in this battle of the crappy computer? Free membership in the battery club if you buy one.

  25. Bay State Darren says:

    Whatever. My PeoplePC will still kick their systems’ asses.

  26. Bobg says:

    I just bought a Gateway laptop for my daughter. I wonder how bad the customer service is going to get after the merger.

  27. Joe_Bloe says:


    humor ——->



  28. migrabear says:

    I “inherited” a Packard Bell after a friend bought one on a whim and then had me and Circuit City (another problem company) try to fix it repeatedly. He replaced it with something worthwile and gave it to me to play with. What a piece of crap. Another friend gave me his problematic Gateway after we built a new computer to his specifications. I gave the Packard Bell to my ex :) and puttered with the Gateway until I finally bought a Dell XPS.
    I am VERY happy with Dell and the service I have recieved from them. I also bought an HP iPAQ and have been very happy with it and the service from them.
    I keep reading horror stories and am very glad I went with two reputable companies, Dell and HP’s iPAQ line.