NEC, Packard Bell merge PC ops

NEC Corp. and Packard Bell Electronics Co. last week announced a merger of their PC operations that will put the full financial and technical backing of the Japanese consumer electronics giant behind Packard Bell and its government-focused subsidiary, Zenith Data Systems. Before the deal, NEC already owned 20 percent of Packard Bell.

The move follows closely on the heels of Packard Bell's purchase of Zenith Data Systems. Packard Bell will merge with NEC's PC operations outside of Japan and China. Packard Bell founder Beny Alagem will serve as president, chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company, called Packard Bell-NEC.

The new company's PCs will be built in Packard Bell's current California factories and will be sold under the Packard Bell, NEC and Zenith Data Systems brand names. Packard Bell-NEC will provide ZDS with financial stability and access to NEC's technology, but the new company should otherwise leave well enough alone, said Bob Dornan, senior vice president of Federal Sources Inc.

"Obviously [ZDS] knows how to deal with the government," he said.

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- Dan Carney

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