Area Gateway center sold to Idaho company

Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 1:40am

Wednesday’s sale of a division of Gateway Inc. included a Nashville configuration center employing about 190 people.

Though buyer MPC Corporation is headquartered in Idaho and has no facilities outside that state other than a few field sales offices, a spokesperson for the company said MPC plans to keep the Nashville facility in business for an undetermined amount of time.

“The plan is to continue operations as is,” said Angela Lewton, director of marketing and public relations for MPC.

Gateway and MPC announced Wednesday a definitive agreement for MPC to purchase Gateway’s Professional business segment — which targets businesses, government agencies and educational institutions — at an estimated $90 million price tag.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and is anticipated to close early in the fourth quarter.

Though Gateway Professional generated $75 million in gross margin dollars over the past four quarters, Gateway officials said in a statement that selling the business will help streamline operations and branding to its consumer brands. Gateway is the third largest PC company in the U.S. and among the top 10 worldwide. Its brands include value-based eMachines as well as the premium Gateway line.

Nampa, Id.-based MPC’s current market niche is similar to Gateway Professional’s. The company said in a statement that the acquisition should “provide MPC with the customers, products and employees to compete at a larger scale in the PC industry.” The combined revenue of MPC and Gateway’s Professional business in 2006 would have been $1.2 billion.

“The new company will be totally focused on the markets of government, education, and small-and-medium business, and will develop products and services to meet the specific needs of these customers,” said John P. Yeros, chairman and CEO of MPC Corporation, in the statement.

According to Gateway, MPC will assume Gateway’s ownership of the Nashville final assembly facility. Gateway Professional products will continue to be manufactured, though branding of the products will be migrated to MPC within the next year. Most of the Nashville jobs are in manufacturing and assembly, Lewton said.

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