In late August, Acer announced plans to acquire Gateway for $710 million, in a bid to expand its presence in the U.S. and strengthen its position in the worldwide marketplace. The acquisition, however, was also part of a defensive move against Lenovo. The Chinese hardware maker had plans to acquire Packard Bell when Acer stepped in to buy Gateway, which held the right of first refusal on any acquisition of Packard Bell.

Now, Acer has announced it has agreed to fund Gateway's acquisition of PB Holding, the parent company of Packard Bell, in connection with the planned merger between Acer and Gateway. Acer's latest acquisition means that the company will now enjoy prime positioning to gain market share in the U.S. through Gateway and eMachines and in Europe through Packard Bell - in addition to its already strong position in Asia.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, a source close to Acer told the Financial Times that Packard Bell will cost less than $100 million and is expected to be finalized sometime in the fourth quarter of 2007 or first quarter of 2008.