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Acer to acquire Gateway for $710 million

In a bid to form the third largest computer company in the world, Taiwan-based Acer Inc. announced Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PC maker Gateway, Inc. in a share buyout worth approximately $710 million.

The acquisition, which is expected to close by December, will create a multi-branded PC-company with over US$15 billion in revenues and shipments in excess of 20 million PC units per year.

Under the terms of the agreement, Acer will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all the outstanding shares of Gateway for $1.90 per share, which represents total equity value consideration of approximately $710 million. The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Gateway and Acer and is subject to standard closing conditions, including approval under Hart Scott Rodino, Exon Florio and similar laws outside the U.S.

"This strategic transaction is an important milestone in Acer's long history," said J.T. Wang, Chairman of Acer. "The acquisition of Gateway and its strong brand immediately completes Acer's global footprint, by strengthening our US presence. This will be an excellent addition to Acer's already strong positions in Europe and Asia. Upon acquiring Gateway, we will further solidify our position as number three PC vendor globally."

Once completed, the deal will push the combined company's US-based PC market share to over 10 percent, or nearly twice that of Cupertino-based Apple Inc. The combination of Acer and Gateway is also expected to result in significant revenue and cost synergies, the two companies said. This considerable increase in scale should result in reductions in per unit procurement and component costs for both companies, translating into significant cost savings through the increased efficiency of the combined back-office functions.

Gateway, which had previously announced its intentions to purchase all controlling shares of European PC vendor Packard Bell BV, also revealed Monday that it is in discussions with a third party with regards to a sale of its U.S. based Professional business.