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2 Major Shareholders to Invest in Packard Bell

Packard Bell NEC Inc. said it expects to receive $300 million in additional financing from two of its largest shareholders, NEC Corp. of Japan and Groupe Bull of France. The Sacramento-based computer maker will use the money to help pay for its push into commercial markets, said Mal Ransom, senior vice president of marketing. After the investment, NEC’s share of voting stock in the company would climb to 49%, up from 20%, reflecting the conversion of nonvoting shares. NEC also would get an additional board seat, giving it three of nine positions. Groupe Bull, a Paris-based high-tech conglomerate, would account for 20% of the investment, but its share of voting stock will remain 12.6%. The investment would dilute the founders’ share of voting stock to 38% from 60%, and the group would relinquish a position on the board. Founder Beny Alagem would retain his titles of chairman and chief executive. Packard Bell expects sales of about $5 billion in 1997 and plans its first public stock offering in 1998, Ransom said.


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