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Monday, October 16, 2006
NEC Sells its Consumer PC Business in Europe

NEC Corp. said on Monday it has sold its European personal computer operations, pulling out of the consumer PC market there.

NEC, Japan's third-largest electronics conglomerate, said it sold its holdings in Packard Bell BV to Lap Shun Hui, former co-founder of eMachines, a maker of low-cost PCs that has since been bought by Gateway Inc.

PB markets and sells personal computers and digital home entertainment products and services in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Under the Packard Bell brand, PB carries out extensive business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America focused on the sale of consumer PCs. It has also been extending its business domain to digital home electronics, such as MP3 and DVD players, as well as GPS, continuing to grow as a consumer electronics enterprise.

In 2005, NEC transferred Packard Bell's (formerly known as NEC Computers International B.V. ("NECCI")) enterprise solutions and products business to NEC Computers SAS in order to focus on the distinct enterprise businesses previously conducted by NECCI. NEC Computers SAS carries out PC and server business in the enterprise market under the NEC brand, as an important arm of NEC's IT platform business in Europe.

NEC declined to comment on the price. Packard Bell BV has annual sales of around 130 billion yen ($1.09 billion), but has been in the red for several years.

In light of, among other things, the focus on these separate businesses, NEC decided it would be in the best interests of both PB and NEC to sell Packard Bell to Mr. Hui, who has extensive experience in the consumer personal computer business and is well positioned to facilitate the future growth of Packard Bell's business.

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