Acer Acquires Texas Instruments Mobile Computing Assets
Acer Benefits from TI's #6 Ranking Worldwide in Notebooks, Large Corporate Customer Base
(January 23, 1997) -- The Acer Group, the world's seventh largest PC brand and fourth largest PC manufacturer, and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) today announced a definitive agreement for Acer to purchase the assets of TI's mobile computing business. The agreement includes the purchase by Acer of TI's award-winning TravelMate® and Extensa ™ product lines, and the associated assets of the business. It is expected that a substantial number of TI's worldwide employees dedicated to its mobile computer business will transfer to Acer upon closing, which is expected on or before March 31, 1997. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Acer's acquisition of TI's mobile computing business is the latest in a long and successful strategic alliance between the two companies. In 1989, they formed TI-Acer Inc., Taiwan's first manufacturer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. Acer continues to be one of TI's largest DRAM customers, and Acer has been the primary manufacturer and co-developer of TI's successful Extensa line of notebooks.
Today's announcement is in line with Acer's business goals to raise awareness and sales of its global notebook business, and expand its overall corporate business. Acer, which is known worldwide for its commercial offering of AcerPower™ business PCs, AcerAltos™ servers, Acer components, and Acer Aspire™ home PCs, now becomes a top-tier mobile computing player as well. TI's strong brand recognition and market presence in Europe and the US complements Acer's leading presence in Latin America and Asia. TI, along with Toshiba and IBM, was recently given a "hot" notebook company ranking worldwide according to International Data Corporation which said TI was "aggressive in channels, executing well…and gaining share in Europe." ¹
"The Texas Instruments sale to Acer brings us a world-recognized name in mobile computing," said Stan Shih, chairman and chief executive officer of The Acer Group. "But Acer benefits from more than increased product offering and marketshare, we also gain important human resources, particularly in the area of research and development, sales, marketing, and service. In addition, TI's well-established corporate customer base and national distribution channel are expected to have a positive impact on the sales of our other product offerings. Acer continues to invest in key component technology and manufacturing capability to serve industry needs and remains committed to both our OEM partners and our own branded business. This acquisition is a natural extension of our excellent relationship with TI and fits well with our strategic objectives."
TI's mobile computing revenues have more than doubled in the past two years, placing TI fourth in the US and sixth worldwide among notebook manufacturers, according to the latest report from International Data Corporation. TI and Acer collaborated on the design of TI's Extensa 900, which recently won Best of Show at Comdex, the computer industry's largest trade show, and a 5-Star rating from PC Computing magazine.
"While our mobile computing business has grown dramatically in a very competitive environment over the past two years, we have also accelerated our corporate focus on digital signal processing solutions," said Tom Engibous, TI president and chief executive officer. "To ensure the competitiveness of the mobile computing business on a global scale requires more resources than we choose to invest, in view of our other opportunities. We believe the continued growth and future success of the mobile computing business will be enhanced by Acer, whose primary focus is on computers."
"As Acer combines our mobile computing organization with its worldwide computer business, customers can expect even stronger service and support," said Pallab Chatterjee, president of TI's personal productivity products unit. "They will also be able to choose from a full spectrum of award-winning products to meet their computing needs, from notebooks to desktops to servers. It will certainly be one of the broadest product lines in the industry, with price/performance points covering virtually every application."
As part of the agreement, Acer will have rights to use the TravelMate and Extensa trademarks, and a license to use the TI brand name on its notebook computers for an appropriate transition period. Acer will continue to develop and market the Extensa and TravelMate as well as its own AcerNote Light™ and AcerNote Nuovo™ notebook lines. The AcerNote Nuovo recently won a Mobile Computing MoBY award and honorable mentions from PC Magazine. It is featured on the cover of the February issue of PC Laptop.
TI's US-based marketing, sales and customer service elements of its mobile computing business will become part of Acer America Corporation, reporting to Ronald Chwang, president and chief executive officer. Similar entities based overseas will report to Acer division heads in their respective countries. Product line responsibility for TI mobile computers will remain in Temple, Texas. Customer service for all mobile computing products and corporate business will be based in Temple, adding a third service and support center for Acer America. (The other two sites are in San Jose, California and San Jose, Costa Rica.) As a result of this agreement, the combined technological depth devoted to the mobile computing business is significantly increased. Steve Lair, formerly vice president, worldwide marketing and sales for Texas Instruments Personal Productivity Products, will become senior vice president for sales and marketing for commercial systems, reporting to Ronald Chwang and will be based in Acer America's headquarters in San Jose, CA.
TI's mobile computing research and development staff will remain in Temple but will report to the Mobile Systems business unit of the Information Products Group (IPG), The Acer Group's strategic business unit responsible for all Acer commercial, consumer and component engineering worldwide. IPG is based in Taiwan and is headed by Simon Lin, president and chief executive officer. Temple becomes the third notebook R&D center for the Acer Group in addition to San Jose, California and Taiwan. IPG will also manage the manufacturing of all TI and AcerNote notebooks at a new facility in El Paso, Texas.
"By adding our notebook manufacturing locally in El Paso instead of Taiwan, Acer will be able to further reduce shipment time to channel, keep inventory levels to a minimum, and pass those cost savings along to the channel and end user," said Simon Lin, IPG's president and chief executive officer. "TI's mobile computing engineers will be a valuable addition to our staff in Taiwan. I believe the result is further strengthened resources for both our other OEM partners and for Acer products and systems."
Texas Instruments Incorporated
Texas Instruments Incorporated, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is one of the world's foremost high technology companies, with sales or manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. TI products and services include semiconductors; software productivity tools; mobile computing products and consumer electronics products; electrical controls; and metallurgical materials. More information about TI is located on the World Wide Web at http://www.ti.com.
Acer America Corporation
Acer America Corporation, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., designs and manufacturers a broad range of computer systems and peripherals. Award-winning product offerings include AcerNote™ notebooks, AcerAspire™ PCs for the home, AcerPower™ and AcerNote™ desktop computers, the AcerAltos™ line of open servers, AcerView™ monitors, and Acer components. The Acer Computer Explorer™ and Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE™) demonstrate Acer's commitment to make PCs as easy to use as other consumer products.
The Acer Group
Established in 1976, Acer is currently the world's seventh largest PC company. Having earned the number two position in the US PC consumer electronics market, the company is a leading provider of high-end multi-user, PC, multimedia, mobile computing, notebook and peripherals products. Acer operates 80 offices in 38 countries, and has more than 16,000 employees supporting dealers and customers in over 100 countries.
¹ IDC's Quarterly Portable Industry Update - 3Q96/4Q96 by Randy Quisto, December, 1996
Acer is a registered trademark and AcerNote, AcerPower, AcerView, AcerAltos, and Acer Aspire are trademarks of Acer, Inc. Extensa and TravelMate are trademarks of Texas Instruments. All other products, brand names or companies are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.