Uniwill becomes part of an elite group

by: John -
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ECS is set to acquire Uniwill Computer, Taiwan's leading manufacturer in ultra-portable notebooks. The acquisition is going to be a nice big stock swap and should strengthen ECS's notebook business. I'm in the market for a new notebook actually so I might have to check out what these guys have to offer.

ECS Elitegroup to Acquire Uniwill Computer


-- Leaders in notebook design and manufacture join forces to expand leadership in white book and ultra portable solutions --


Fremont, CA (August 1, 2006) – Elitegroup Computer Systems, Inc. (ECS®, TSE: 2331), the world’s leading desktop PCs, notebooks, servers, motherboards, video cards, wireless solutions and handheld devices manufacturer, announced it has inked an agreement to acquire Uniwill Computer, Taiwan’s leading manufacturer of ultra-portable notebook solutions. This acquisition will allow customers of both companies to deploy a wide range of compelling notebook and white book products to the marketplace immediately. This is the second consecutive acquisition made by ECS Elitegroup after the recent acquisition of the desktop PC unit of Tatung earlier this year.


Under the terms of the agreement, ECS Elitegroup will acquire Uniwill Computer in an all-stock swap where two shares of Uniwill Computer will be swapped for one share of ECS Elitegroup. The expected completion date of the acquisition is December 1, 2006 where ECS Elitegroup will issue 184,930,000 new shares at a share price of NT$19.05 to complete the deal, as detailed in the statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The acquisition will integrate and streamline manufacturing capabilities of the companies’ notebook, desktop PC and motherboard lines to allow for expanded output capacities.


Uniwill Computer is recognized for its R&D strength in notebook design and manufacture with over 200 highly skilled engineers. In 2005, Uniwill’s notebook PC business reported annual revenue of NTD $26.8 billion, representing over 1.8 million units sold worldwide. Being a major player in the notebook OEM/ODM sector, Uniwill complements ECS Elitegroup’s present dominance in the white book market.


Poised as Taiwan’s first tier PC and component manufacturer, ECS Elitegroup is known for its accelerated market share capitalization in key PC component and system businesses. The acquisition of Uniwill allows ECS Elitegroup open access to both companies’ present sales channels, allowing the specialized sales force to have communication with ECS Elitegroup’s strategic partners in the distribution and retail channels as well as Uniwill’s numerous key OEM/ODM accounts. Leveraging ECS Elitegroup’s substantial advantage in the vertical integration market and the company’s strength in procurement, manufacturing and global logistics, the acquisition further strengthens the company’s positioning as a top notebook PC manufacturer. 


“The acquisition is a significant step forward in our ongoing investment in the notebook business. ECS Elitegroup and Uniwill complement each other in our core business and strengths,” said M. T. Chen, President of ECS Elitegroup Computer Systems, Taiwan. “Our integration with Uniwill’s OEM/ODM business, R&D and management capabilities will help ECS Elitegroup enhance its business scale and increase its market share in the overall PC industry.”


Upon completion of the Uniwill acquisition, ECS Elitegroup will become a company with more than 400 R&D team members for notebook PC design, and its production volume will scale up to 3 million sets per year. The expanded capabilities will place ECS Elitegroup as one of the top five notebook manufacturers in the world through a larger OEM/ODM customer base, enhanced sales volume, and reduced procurement and manufacturing costs.

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