NEC Confirms Packard Bell Sale

NEC confirmed that it was exiting the European PC market, announcing it had reached a deal to sell its Netherlands-based Packard Bell subsidiary to Chinese entrepreneur Lap Shun "John" Hui. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hui attempted to purchase the retail operations of Gateway earlier this year, however his offer was rejected. He was co-founder of discount PC maker eMachines, which Gateway acquired in 2004 for $264 million.

Although a popular brand of computers in for a short period of time in the mid 1990s worldwide, Packard Bell quickly was eclipsed by competitors, mainly for a reputation of lackluster quality and poor customer support.

By the end of the decade, it pulled out of the U.S. market completely. It was also at that time that it first signaled its intentions to sell, however a deal was not completed until September of this year, when the New York Times first reported NEC was planning to sell to Hui.

"NEC decided it would be in the best interests of both PB and NEC to sell Packard Bell to Mr. Hui, who has extensive experience in the consumer personal computer business and is well positioned to facilitate the future growth of Packard Bell's business," the company said in a statement.

It is not immediately clear what plans Mr. Hui has for the Packard Bell brand, or whether it could signal a resurgence of a brand that was once the top-selling desktop computer in the U.S. market. However, Hui's recent moves indicate he may be looking to re-enter the desktop computer business.

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