eMachines founder buys Packard Bell

— 2:21 PM on October 16, 2006

NEC has sold Packard Bell, its European consumer PC division, to eMachines founder Lap Shun Hui. Financial details surrounding the deal have not been disclosed, but Hui's initial bid on Packard Bell was of ¥10 billion, or just under $84 million. Having sold eMachines to Gateway two years ago, Hui now seems to be on a shopping spree of sorts: he made his first bid on Packard Bell in June, and then two months later offered to buy Gateway's retail business for $450 million. Hui is already Gateway's second-largest shareholder, but he believes the company needs to split its retail business from other operations in order to counter a declining stock price and a perceived failure to react to changes in the PC market. Reuters says Packard Bell is also "in the red," although Packard Bell Europe Communications Director Hughes Gontier said this summer the company had a "particularly good year in 2005."

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