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NEC Sells Eurpean PC Business

NEC Corporation said today it has sold its struggling European personal computer business Packard Bell BV to former eMachines owner Lap Shun “John” Hui for an undisclosed amount. Although NEC isn’t quite a household name in the North American computer marketplace, it is easily one of the top ten computer makers, and a leading retailer of home computers in Japan. Its Packard Bell BV unit does around $1 billion USD in annual sales in Europe; however, NEC hasn’t been able to translate its business success in Japan to overseas markets, and its Packard Bell BV operation has been losing money for several years.

John Hui formerly owned eMachines, which was purchased by Gateway in 2004. Hui recently offered Gateway $450 million to take over the company’s retail business, but the offer was declined just before Gateway installed J. Edward Coleman as CEO.

NEC will still maintain a presence in Europe, selling PCs and enterprise solutions through NEC Computers SAS, NEC High Performance Computing Europe, and other local operations.

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