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Troubled Acer is going to chop itself into three bite sized chunks

'I was wondering when you'd ask', company mouthpiece says

Management head-to-wall banging at Acer has seemingly inspired a novel idea to fix the things that are wrong the business - more restructuring. Well done, C-suite execs! Bonuses all round!

The new design for Acer, if Digi Times is right, is to turn itself into a holding company to attract new investors and carve the business into three bite-sized chunks.

The “corporate restructuring project” involves: creating a PC unit that sells clients, monitors, peripherals and servers; a cloud & data centre management wing that mainly sells apps and e-Enabling Data Centre kit; and a re-investment sub. The is supposed to happen in the second half of 2016.

Over the longer term, Acer will “transform into a holding company” that rules all three subs, and gives the group more chance to bring in “strategic investors or liquidate its subsidiaries”.

We asked Acer’s PR for a response, and they offered no denial: “I was wondering when you might ask. Sorry. No comment at this stage.”

Acer hasn’t truly recovered from the beating it took in 2011 when consumer PC demand nosedived, with interest switching to smartphones and tabs in the absence of desktops or notebooks with advances worth upgrading to.

Acer got caught with too much inventory – wrote down $150m of it – fired a bunch of senior regional and national executives, and brought back the founders.

The pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap mentality dissipated along with the people peddling that particular strategy and Acer has failed to reignite sales.

The company has been in the red far more frequently than in the black over the past four years and any exceptional cost of the latest restructuring will be an unwelcome addition to the P&L accounts.

Acer last year shifted some staff out of the PC unit into other parts of the group, but told us this was mainly in Taiwan. It plans to build a future based on hardware, software and services. It sounds so easy when you say it quickly.

Full financial results for Q4 aren’t yet ready, but according to numbers for October, November and December, turnover dropped year-on-year in each of those months.

Acer is not the only PC vendor finding life in the 21st century world of business hard going. Toshiba is pulling out of the Euro consumer PC space; Fujitsu is being forced to deny it is leaping out of PCs; HP Inc isn't making any money and neither is Dell. Lenovo is the only one that is. ®


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