Monday, 27 August 2007

Acer & Tata in today's news

Acer, the world's fourth-largest PC supplier, said today it will pay $710 million (£352 million) to acquire US computer retailer Gateway which is now in talks to buy Dutch-based rival Packard Bell. Both deals would be a double blow to Chinese computer group Lenovo, currently the world's third largest computer provider.

Acer and Citigroup, which advised on the deal, said Gateway had first rights to acquire Packard Bell, and that the two had begun talks that could eventually see them both folded into Acer. Adding Packard would give the Chinese company increased presence in the European consumer market, where Acer is especially strong.

Taipei-based Acer will pay $1.90 a share for Californian-based Gateway. Acer's offer represents a 57 per cent premium over Gateway's closing price on Friday of $1.21. Gateway surged 59 cents, or 49%, to $1.80 when Wall Street opened. Acer said the takeover would create a company with more than $15 billion in sales and 20 million computers shipped each year. Acer will keep the Gateway brand in the US. (source: Times Online)

Tata has emerged as the front-runner to buy Jaguar and Land Rover, as the turmoil in world debt markets makes it more difficult for private equity firms to secure funding. Ratan Tata(pictured), the chairman, has formally confirmed his company’s interest in buying the marques, which have been put up for sale by Ford, the struggling American carmaker.

Tata is understood to be one of only two likely trade buyers for Jaguar and Land Rover. The other – Mahindra & Mahindra, a maker of 4x4s – also hails from India. The sale, on which Ford says it does not expect to make an announcement until the end of this year or early in 2008, is thought to have drawn preliminary interest from at least five private equity firms. Corporate financiers however believe that their chances of prevailing in the $1.5 billion (£745 million) auction have been hit by the near-shutdown of the credit markets since late July.

Pre-tax losses at Jaguar in the UK halved last year from £535 million to £258 million, while Land Rover made a profit of £99 million. (source: Times Online)

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