Gateway says it's not for sale

PC maker Gateway says it's not interested in being turned into a private company, but two of its rivals have found that's not such a bad way to go.

For some time, analysts have suggested that Gateway might be prime takeover material. The latest speculation that the company might be on the block came up this week when BusinessWeek reported rumors that a leveraged buyout firm might be interested in purchasing Gateway for $5 a share. However, Gateway Chief Executive Ted Waitt owns 31 percent of the company, and a spokesman said that the CEO has no interest in selling.

"Ted Waitt has said publicly a number of times, including our most recent earnings call, that the company is not for sale," said Gateway spokesman Brad Williams. "We feel like our current capital structure is the right one." Williams would not say whether anyone has approached the company with an offer. However, two of Gateway's rivals have gone private in the past two years, and both say they are benefiting from being away from Wall Street's glare.

Both MicronPC and Emachines were taken private last year, and both say the move has improved the bottom line. Such buyouts have become more prevalent as the once-soaring valuations of technology companies have crashed back to earth.

News source: C|Net

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