made an offer of US$290 million on smartphone maker E-TEN, which is best know for it's range of GPS equiped smart phones that go under the Glofiish brand. It's an outright purchase of the company, but Acer is doing a share swap rather than a cash purchase. Both Acer's and E-TEN's board of directs have approved the purchase and the deal is set to close by Q3 this year.
It might seem like an odd purchase on Acer's behalf, but the company has been struggling in the PDA market, which has been in a steady decline over the past few years. E-TEN, on the other hand, has just started to expand and grow as a company and is one of the more exciting Windows Mobile device makers in the market, at least when it comes to product differentiation.
If Acer can combine its design team with E-TEN's technical know-how, we could end up seeing some rather nice looking and well specced handsets once the acquisition is finished. Time will tell what will come of things, but Acer has a much stronger brand name than E-TEN, so it's very likely that we'll see Glofiish devices in many more markets than we have to date, but most likely under a different brand.
You can find the press release here