Acer CEO says com­pany not con­sid­er­ing takeover of HTC

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A top ex­ec­u­tive of Tai­wanese com­puter maker Acer Inc. ( ) on Tues­day quashed spec­u­la­tions about a takeover of HTC Corp. ( ), say­ing his com­pany does not have the ca­pac­ity to ac­quire the strug­gling smart­phone man­u­fac­turer.

“We have no plans to do so at this mo­ment,” said Jason Chen (

), Acer cor­po­rate pres­i­dent and CEO, at a media brief­ing Tues­day, when asked about a pos­si­ble ac­qui­si­tion of HTC.

Acer does not have the ca­pac­ity to ac­quire the Tai­wanese smart­phone maker or the ca­pa­bil­ity to in­te­grate the re­sources and oper­a­tions of the two com­pa­nies, Chen said.

Fur­ther­more, Acer has no rea­son to con­sider such an ac­qui­si­tion be­cause Acer has been mak­ing good progress in its smart­phone busi­ness over the past 18 months af­ter Chen joined the com­pany, he said.

One June 5, HTC low­ered its sec­ond-quar­ter sales forecast and pro­jected a loss per share of nearly NT$10 (US$0.32) for that pe­riod.

Asked whether he had any ad­vice for HTC, Chen said: “Don’t just look at the shadow. Face the sun. Run as fast as you can. Use your strength.”

He said that while it is “hu­man na­ture” to want to fix prob­lems, that ap­proach “does not nec­es­sar­ily get you to where you want to go.”

Chen, who took of­fice in Jan­uary 2014 and pulled Acer back from three con­sec­u­tive years of op­er­at­ing losses, was an­swer­ing re­porters’ ques­tions on the HTC is­sue four days af­ter Asustek Com­puter Inc. ( ) hinted a pos­si­ble takeover of HTC.

Speak­ing with the press af­ter a share­hold­ers meet­ing Fri­day, Asustek Chair­man Jon­ney Shih (

) said his com­pany had held “in­for­mal” in­ter­nal dis­cus­sions about ac­quir­ing HTC and he would not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of a takeover.

In a fil­ing with the Tai­wan Stock Ex­change on Mon­day, how­ever, HTC said it had not con­tacted Asustek and would not con­sider such an ac­qui­si­tion.

“As an in­ter­na­tional brand, HTC will con­tinue to de­sign world-class in­no­va­tive smart de­vices through its pur­suit of bril­liance brand prom­ise,” the Taoyuan-based com­pany said in its state­ment.

Sales of HTC’s De­sire Phones Top 1 Mil. in Tai­wan in 1 Year

HTC said Tues­day that sales of its De­sire fam­ily have topped 1 mil­lion units in its home mar­ket over the past year as the com­pany has in­vested more in the mid-tier mar­ket.

The 1 mil­lion De­sire phones sold in Tai­wan be­tween May last year and April this year — in­clud­ing the mid-range De­sire 816, De­sire 820 and De­sire 826, as well as the en­try-level De­sire 626 — in­di­cates that the low-cost fea­turerich smart­phone range is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among lo­cal con­sumers, HTC said in a state­ment.

Jack Tong ( ), pres­i­dent of HTC North Asia, told a press brief­ing Tues­day that 70 per­cent of the smart­phones sold in Tai­wan are priced un­der NT$10,000 (US$323), and that the De­sire range will meet con­sumer de­mand in this price band.

De­spite re­cent set­backs in HTC’s oper­a­tions, the com­pany’s ship­ments to the Tai­wan mar­ket in­creased by 50 per­cent yearon-year dur­ing the first half of 2015, rank­ing the com­pany as Tai­wan’s best- selling smart­phone brand be­tween March and May, Tong said.

He also said he ex­pects HTC’s high-end prod­uct line to gain mo­men­tum in Tai­wan in the third quar­ter be­fore the an­tic­i­pated launch of Ap­ple Inc.’s next-gen­er­a­tion iPhone.

HTC said June 5 that it had low­ered its sec­ond-quar­ter sales forecast to NT$33 bil­lion-NT$36 bil­lion from its pre­vi­ous es­ti­mate of NT$46 bil­lion-NT$51 bil­lion made April 28.

HTC also said it ex­pects a net loss of NT$9.7-NT$9.94 per share for the April-June pe­riod, a re­vi­sion from an ear­lier earn­ings forecast of NT$0.06-NT$0.34 per share, cit­ing lower-than-ex­pected global de­mand for high-end An­droid de­vices and the com­pany’s weak sales in China.

HTC shares closed down 5.86 per­cent at NT$78.7 Tues­day in Taipei trad­ing.

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