Siemens Nixdorf has sold off its PC manufacturing business to Acer after failing to make a significant dent in the global market.
The German vendor has surrendered its desktop, laptop and Intel-based server operations to Taiwanese giant Acer for an undisclosed sum, effectively extending an OEM agreement between the firms that spans 10 years.
After the sale of its Augsburg plant - expected to go through by June - Siemens will retain machine design and marketing.
According to Alan Norman, UK marketing communications manager at Siemens: 'All existing customer agreements will remain.' He added: 'We want to increase, not decrease, the number of PCs we sell. We've gone one hundred per cent indirect and have no plans to change that. However, if market conditions change and customers dictate it, then we'll have to adjust the model in place'.
Siemens has already disclosed plans to sell direct over the internet, putting total fulfilment by the channel in jeopardy (PC Dealer, 11 February 1997).
Norman conceded that Siemens could not achieve the volumes required of a global player without acquisition or partnership, and that, realistically, it was not in a position to buy another company.
He denied that a lack of profitability was the reason behind the sale of Siemens' PC operation to Acer, but refused to disclose how profitable it was.
Graham Jackson, UK MD of Acer, admitted there was a certain element of risk involved in the purchase, given the current slow-down of the PC market.
However, the deal takes a longer term view, which Jackson claimed would allow the vendor to be more competitive for large, long-term customers.
Under the terms of the deal, Acer will be the sole OEM supplier to Siemens.
He also revealed that Acer would be expanding its channel to accommodate the additional output, but details remain undisclosed.
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