eMachines founder bids for Gateway's retail biz


— 1:40 PM on August 23, 2006

In a strange reversal of roles, eMachines founder Lap Shun Hui has offered to buy Gateway's retail operations for a cool $450 million. The bid comes just two and a half years after Gateway itself bought out eMachines for around $290 million. Hui, who is Gateway's second-largest shareholder, believes Gateway needs to split its retail business from other operations. In a letter sent to Gateway Chairman Rick Snyder, Hui says the following:

I believe that management and the board need to adopt a sense of urgency to address Gateway's problems. . . . The landscape of the PC business has continued to evolve rapidly and Gateway has not reacted. Gateway's stock price has continued to decline and the failure to name a replacement CEO for over six months has left Gateway in a position where it is unable to clearly and credibly articulate its strategic direction to the market.
Gateway's board plans to review Hui's offer, but no decision has been made yet.

This isn't the first time Mr. Hui has made a bid for a major computer maker. Back in July, word got out that the China-born entrepreneur had made an $87 million offer for now-European PC manufacturer Packard Bell. As of late July, Packard Bell's parent company NEC was still in negotiations with Hui over the sale of Packard Bell, according to Japan's Nihon Keizai Business Daily.

 
   
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